Saturday, January 16, 2010

“Bride Wars” – The idiot’s guide to foreshadowing.

Short movies are a wonderful thing, especially when they feature an uglified Kate Hudson. At the twenty-two minute mark, my wife and I realized that nothing had happened in this film. “Where are the wars?” we asked. We also wondered why the make-up crew decided that Kate Hudson should look like an evil Barbie with bad bangs. It didn’t take long for us to recognize that she was the “bad bride,” based on the fact that she was playing a blood-thirsty lawyer who forced her boyfriend to propose to her. We didn’t seriously expect them to cast Anne Hathaway in any role other than the perfect, sweet girl. For shit’s sake, her character is an underpaid teacher who gets taken advantage of by everyone and wears baggy unflattering sweaters. Of course Kate Hudson had to be the evil one.

And, of course, at the twenty-four minute mark, the writers decided to give us a not-so subtle clue as to how the movie was going to end (not that it wasn’t a foregone conclusion anyway) by painting Anne Hathaway’s fiancé as a prick. He makes a comment that Hudson’s fiancé won’t be able to control her and Hathaway gets a look of incredulity on her face (I think it was supposed to be disgust, but Hathaway is incapable of making her face look like that). This tells us that after all of the fighting, Hathaway will dump her fiancé and make amends with Hudson. I guess the writers paid attention to their second grade foreshadowing lesson. I’m not sure I’d have missed it if I was in a coma.

Just so you don’t think I’m being too hard on the writers (read: pre-schoolers), here’s another example of their brick-to-the-face foreshadowing. Early on, Hathaway is hanging out with some friends when Hudson’s brother shows up. Right away, you can tell they have some chemistry and it’s further cemented when they have a really awkward scene at the tuxedo shop. Since there are no other men in this film (except maybe Candace Bergen), and they’ve already let us know that Hathaway’s future ex-fiancé would prefer to be dragging her by her hair, it’s painfully obvious that the writers were dead-set on sticking to formula.

If that wasn’t enough, they made sure you got the message when he proposed to Hathaway. They are sitting on their couch, eating Chinese food, when she opens her fortune cookie and finds the ring. He explains to her that rather than make a big deal out of it, he wanted to propose to her in a place they were comfortable. He adds that if this is exactly what they are doing when they are old, it’s good enough for me. In summary, he wants to marry his TiVo, eat Chinese food, and treat his future wife as special as an old doormat. Only a douche bag would think deep frying an engagement ring in take-out Chinese food and proposing in front of SportsCenter is exactly what every girl dreams.

Besides the crappy foreshadowing, the premise of the film is completely ridiculous. Two best friends get engaged at the same time, go to the same wedding planner (Bergen), and schedule their weddings for the same venue. Bergen’s assistant screws up their dates and schedules them on the same day at the same time. Even though Bergen is the most influential wedding planner in the city, she can’t give Hathaway back her original date because the writer’s couldn’t come up with a better circumstance. Maybe if they weren’t so busy detailing their foreshadowing, they would have realized how stupid this was.

The biggest disappointment of the film is the fighting. Their so-called war is basically a practical joke battle that would more likely be waged between two sororities. They trade such barbs as stealing a DJ, sending treats to make the other too fat to fit in her dress, turning up the “dark” on a spray tan, and dumping blue coloring into the other’s hair dye. I’ve seen pillow fights with more intensity. Somebody should have reminded them that they were trying to ruin the other’s wedding and not just their wedding photos.

You might think that I just ruined the movie for you, but I promise you’re not missing anything. It’s not worth watching and not just because of the infantile foreshadowing. Kate Hudson’s looks will force you to close your eyes.

Rating: It’s worth a dollar from one of those red movie rental boxes that are scattered around the city. But only if you’re really lonely.

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