Looking for a comedy with weird plot twists and a sprinkling of humor? Keep searching, because “Bride Wars” excels at the former and drastically fails at the latter. It’s not entirely silly sabotage and witless laughs, since a few scenes and characters do stand out of the cliché wedding comedy crowd, but ultimately, the tragic outcomes and easy clean-up of a far too messy situation will leave viewers wishing for a more comfortably predictable plotline.
Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) have been best friends since childhood; and both have always dreamed of a gorgeous June wedding at the luxurious Plaza Hotel. When both girls’ boyfriends ask for their hands in marriage, Liv and Emma enlist the highly reputable wedding planner Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen) to acquire their dream locale. Unfortunately, a clerical error has their weddings set on the same day – and thus begins a rivalry of increasingly ruthless subversions as both girls refuse to reschedule their most important day.
No experimentation or originality can be seen in “Bride Wars.” Everything is terribly formulaic, from the music-narrated montages to the carefully patterned dialogue to the high points and low points for each of the heroines. When a half-expected love triangle forms, it is completely unnecessary and sorely mislaid – this is the kind of film where each event is better off contributing solely to comedy and every sad moment is best coated with ridiculous gags and off-the-wall, mood-shifting resolutions. Touches of seriousness have no place in “Bride Wars,” which struggles so greatly with its adult dilemmas that the moments of humor feel forced – shoved into the cracks to even out the heartbreak that most won’t be feeling for these cookie-cutter characters.
If it isn’t bad enough that no individuality finds its way through all the girl-oriented giggling, hormonal wedding crazes, and subdued cat-fighting, the humor itself is oftentimes indecipherable from the drama. Occasionally, it’s funny to see these girls bitterly attack one another even if audiences are meant to sympathize; but at other times it’s disheartening when viewers are supposed to be laughing. Either way, so little of the film sparks interest or concern over two hopelessly contrived, generic best friends that it would be as wasteful to debate over them as it was to spoil 90 minutes of valuable time watching the film. Tragically, even the target audience will realize the recycled, uninspired nature of “Bride Wars.”