Combustible Celluloid
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With: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Bryan Greenberg, Chris Pratt, Steve Howey, Candice Bergen, Kristen Johnston, Michael Arden, Victor Slezak, Kelly Coffield Park, John Pankow, Zoe O'Grady, Shannon Ferber, June Diane Raphael, Charles Bernard
Written by: Greg DePaul, Casey Wilson, June Diane Raphael, based on a story by Greg DePaul
Directed by: Gary Winick
MPAA Rating: PG for suggestive content, language and some rude behavior
Running Time: 89
Date: 01/05/2009

Bride Wars (2009)

1 Star (out of 4)

Maids of Dishonor

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Mere months ago, Anne Hathaway participated in Rachel Getting Married, a film brimming with life. Now here she is in a film with virtually no life at all, paired with another actress hardly worthy of her attention, Kate Hudson. They play best friends: control freak Liv (Hudson) and people-pleaser Emma (Hathaway), who get engaged at the same time. They both dream of getting married in Manhattan's Plaza Hotel in June, but there's only one spot left open. So they begin fighting and feuding and playing dirty tricks on one another, each hoping the other will give up. (And, no, a double-wedding is apparently out of the question.) A series of bland pretty boys turn up as various fianc├ęs and brothers, but I was unable to tell which was which. I laughed once and Hathaway has one good scene toward the final third in which she lets all the excitement and anguish play out on her face, but that's it. Director Gary Winick (13 Going on 30) and three writers keep things as sterile and restrained and generic as possible, and it's only thanks to Hathaway's skill that she was able to get that one moment in. Otherwise, the movie sends womankind hurtling backwards 40 years. Candice Bergen plays a high-class wedding planner who narrates.

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