Monday, January 12, 2009

Total Lack Of Pride Wars

One of the more or less regular features of this site is Movies I Haven't Seen. This is where I review a movie months before it is released (based mostly on the trailer) that I feel has no shot whatsoever at being good. The last time I did this was in November when I covered The Unborn and, I'm pleased to say that I have now picked 5 out of 5 godawfully retched movies. It currently has been awarded a 13% rating on the Tomatometer and critical response can be summed up by FEARnet's Scott Weinberg:
This stuff is scary in the same way that twelve random ingredients from your kitchen is soup.
However, I cannot enjoy this victory. In pulling The Unborn out of its dirty little cave into the sun for all the world to see, I missed an even greater abomination hiding just behind it. That, of course, is Bride Wars.

Bride Wars is a movie about two idiot girls who start a stupid fight for moronic reasons. If this movie is to be believed, every girl everywhere comes out of the womb thoroughly obsessed about her wedding. Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) certainly are. We see them from about age 6 doing nothing but talking about how someday they'd get married at New York's Plaza Hotel in June. They go to other weddings mostly to snidely comment on how it pales in comparison to the Plaza weddings of their dreams that will be planned by famed wedding planner Marion St. Claire (Candice Bergen). These are both educated and accomplished women, too. Emma is a grade school teacher and Liv, before the age of 30, is poised to become partner with a top flight New York City law firm. And yet, according to the movie, they can't help but have some sort of wedding-centric worldview. Whether this is caused by some sort of genetic defect that stems from having ovaries or maybe their IQ drops because they wear bras the movie does not say.

Their boyfriends both propose around the same time because it was convenient for the screenplay. They both go to Marion St. Claire and manage the impossible feat of booking June wedding dates at the Plaza on different weekends with only three months notice and, allow me to stress, anyone who knows anything about booking a short notice wedding date at a high profile venue like the Plaza Hotel knows that this is ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY IMPOSSIBLE. It's the least likely event in a movie filled with unlikely events. I'd have found it more believable if one of them had gone faster than the speed of light or invented a perpetual motion machine. Another unlikely event is when both weddings accidentally get booked on the same day. An inconvenient fact for the screenplay is that these two are the best of friends who have been with each other their entire lives, through good times and bad, and each would do anything for the other. I am assuming that we will see a deleted scene on the DVD where they both are accidentally given some sort of Stupidity Pill that causes them to turn into immature idiots. Bad news for them, good news for the screenplay.

In the real world, of course, some sort of compromise wouldn't have been that hard to reach. In this world, however, best friends like Liv and Emma can't seem to find a way around this, probably due to the fact that they're both chicks and chicks be craaaazy. Did I mention that this movie is basically an ode to the wonders of misogyny?

Anyway, the girls start fighting and hilarity ensues. Well, not hilarity exactly, but rather an incredible simulation of hilarity that looks like it's supposed to be funny, except it isn't. It's kind of like the way Chicken McNuggets are supposed to taste like chicken. It's established early on that Anne Hathaway's Emma character is meak and wishy washy as compared to Kate Hudson's Bitch-On-Wheels portrayal of Liv, but they each turn into what is basically the same horrible person as Liv sabotages Emma's spray-on tan so she turns a deep shade of orange and Emma takes revenge by arranging for Liv's hair to be dyed blue. Remember when I said that Liv was so capable, intelligent and competent that she rose at a very young age to the top of her law firm? Just forget all that because now I get to tell you how she quite literally FORGOT that her hair was blue when she showed up for a meeting with an important client. If you're thinking, "Gosh Mike, surely there's some sort of solution to that. Wear a hat, grab a wig, maybe postpone the meeting?" Yeah, those are all good ideas. Liv's idea was, and I'm not making this up, to take off her shirt and wrap it around her head. This is explained by that fact that Chicks Be Crazy.

That's one of the big problems of this movie. The characters and their behavior are more or less established in the beginning of the movie and then all the character development is tossed down the crapper whenever it's convenient for the script. Only one of the characters, Emma's fiance, even notices any of this and is basically told to shut the hell up about it.

The people who made this movie should, quite literally, be ashamed of themselves. They won't be of course since the movie seems to be quite profitable especially considering it opened in the first half of January (traditionally a horrible time to open a movie) and a great deal of the country is experiencing bad weather. This does fit into my theory that mediocre comedy is king during times of economic distress like, you know, now. It also appeals to the narrow demographic of people who like to watch girls catfighting in wedding dresses without ending up naked, the group I assume pushed Bride Wars up to its number 2 slot for the week.

So, Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, and everyone else involved in this abomination, enjoy your money and success. You've reinforced bad gender stereotypes and caused everyone who saw the movie to die a little bit inside, but at least you can all afford that new boat you've all had your eyes on and, in the end, that's really what show business is all about.

One more thing: for those of you keeping track, I'm changing my daily posting time from 8 PM to Midnight Eastern time. This is happening for a couple of reason, none of which are interesting to anyone but me.

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