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Movie Review

Bride Wars

MPAA Rating: PG for suggestive content, language and some rude behavior.

Reviewed by: Mia J. Best
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance, Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
2009
USA Release:
January 9, 2009 (wide—3,000 theaters)
DVD: April 28, 2009
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures

Drunkenness

Anger in the Bible

Brides in the Bible

Marriage in the Bible

How can I deal with temptations? Answer

Should I save sex for marriage? Answer

How far is too far? What are the guidelines for dating relationships? Answer

Fornication

Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Christian answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more. Valuable resources for Christian couples, singles and pastors.
Featuring: Kate Hudson (Liv Lerner), Anne Hathaway (Emma Allan), Bryan Greenberg (Nate Lerner), Chris Pratt (Fletcher Flemson), Steve Howey (Daniel Williams), Candice Bergen (Marion St. Claire), Kristen Johnston (Deb), Michael Arden (Kevin), Victor Slezak (Colson), Kelly Coffield Park (Kathy), John Pankow (John Allan), Zoe O'Grady (Young Liv), Shannon Ferber (Young Emma), June Diane Raphael (Amanda), Charles Bernard (Wedding DJ), Emily Sarah Stikeman (Student #1), Robert Capron (Robert), Kallie Mariah Tabor (Student #3), Bruce Altman (Simmons), Hettienne Park (Marissa), Lauren Bittner (Amie), Jeremy Brothers (Nerdy Colleague), Rena Maliszweski (Female Colleague), Casey Wilson (Stacy), Sarah Kate Jackson (Salesgirl), Jason Kolotouros (Delivery Guy), Paul Scheer (Ricky Coo), Kristofer L. Stock (Officer 'Not Your Husband'), Andre Holland (DJ Jazzles), Anna Madigan (Tanorexic), Daniel Raymont (Colorist), Jonathan C. Daly (Head Set), Dennis Parlato (Dance Instructor), Michael Anastasia (Geeky Neighbor), Georgia Lyman (Airbrush Technician), Ryan A. Shaw (Singer), Derek Yuen (Hair Stylist), Eryn Gruttadauria (Locker Student), Nicole Stuart (Receptionist), Kayce Brown (Bespectacled Colleague), Manuel Lopes (Miguel), Rob Wilson (Rob), Pamela Figueiredo (Pamela), Ryan Young (Head Set #2), Hannah Yun (Head Set #3), Sam Pannier (Stationery Clerk), Ariel Shafir (Security Guard), Steve Alterman (Additional Voice), Jacqueline Piñol (Additional Voice), Jennifer Crystal (Additional Voice), Michelle Ruff (Additional Voice), Zolee Griggs (Additional Voice), Karen Strassman (Additional Voice), Bridget Hoffman (Additional Voice), Billy Unger (Additional Voice), Mary Matilyn Mouser (Additional Voice), Paul Pape (Additional Voice), Kathryn Cressida (Additional Voice), Zoë Raye (Additional Voice), Elisa Gabrielli (Additional Voice), Dennis Singletary (Additional Voice), Gina Hirsch (Additional Voice), Hudson Thames (Additional Voice), Matthew Laborteaux (Additional Voice), Darian Bryant (Additional Voice), Cassidy K. Rawlinson (Additional Voice), Colin Ford (Additional Voice), Justin Shenkarow (Additional Voice), Kerry Gutierrez (Additional Voice), Laura Summer (Additional Voice), Karen Huie (Additional Voice), Claudette Wells (Additional Voice), Lynnanne Zager (Additional Voice), Edward A. Sherman IV (Snooty Bloomingdales shpper), Ellen Becker-Gray (Fletcher’s Aunt at Wedding—uncredited), Leigh Belair (Wedding guest—uncredited), Nicholas Cairis (Taxi driver—uncredited), Patrick Canty (Daniel’s Best Man—uncredited), Desiree April Connolly (Wedding Guest / Teacher—uncredited), Michael Anthony Coppola (Daniel’s Father—uncredited), Richard DeAgazio (Wedding Guest—uncredited), Sean Patrick Doherty (Bartender—uncredited), Sari Gagnon (Bachelorette—uncredited), Dane Grigas (Sales Clerk—uncredited), Sophya Gudelman (Hot Girl—uncredited), Quincy Heath (Wedding Guest—uncredited), Haytham Kandil (Bartender—uncredited), Dan Marshall (Dancing Wedding Guest / Best Friend of 80’s Groom—End-Credits—uncredited), Robert Masiello (Wedding guest—uncredited), Todd Mello (Wedding Guest—uncredited), Jason Mulcahy (The Palm Court Caterer—uncredited), Giovanni Pantaleo (Bridal Shower Bartender—uncredited), Steve Ricard (Wedding Guest—uncredited), Sabe Schoeneg (Guy at wedding—uncredited), Jillian Taylor (Wedding Guest—uncredited), Fraser Townley (The Hotel Manager—uncredited), Marc Vos (Wedding Guest—uncredited), Melissa Whiteman (Salesgirl—uncredited), Adam Zalt (The Palm Court Caterer—uncredited)
Director: Gary Winick
13 Going on 30,” “Charlotte’s Web
Producer: Firm Films, New Regency Pictures, Regency Enterprises, Sunrise Entertainment, Jay Cohen, Jonathan Filley, Kate Hudson, Matt Luber, Alan Riche, Peter Riche, Devon Wilson, Julie Yorn
Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures

Same story, different brides. Bride Wars is a predictable, clunky, cookie-cut comedy, which promotes the notion that the most important thing about a marriage is throwing a great party and calling it a wedding. Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) have been best friends since childhood and have been obsessed with having June weddings at The Plaza Hotel in NYC. Having that dream wedding turns into a nightmare when their weddings are mistakenly booked on the same day at the legendary hotel.

Bridal bliss is overtaken by villainous venom as the two lifelong pals become arch enemies. Bride Wars attempts to be both sentimental and poke fun at the commercialization of the wedding business, but, overall, it trivializes marriage and reinforces stereotypes of brides who morph into “Bridezillas” [enraged, emotional, out-of-control brides] when any detail of their nuptials is threatened.

Emma and Liv attack one another’s wedding plans ferociously. Most of the comedy comes from laughing at the ridiculous scenarios they create for one another. They both resort to lying, stealing, and being verbally abusive to one another. The bible calls these actions the “works of the flesh” (Gal. 5:19-21) and lets us know we can choose not to follow those negative impulses. We are encouraged, rather, to follow the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:16-18, 22-26). The Bible also gives us a principle for handling offenses. It says we are to go to that person alone and point out the fault (Matt 18:15-20).

Although this film is mild by Hollywood standards, from a biblical view the offenses are many and continuous throughout the film. To highlight a few, a bride is depicted as drunk at her reception, there is social drinking to the point of getting drunk, a strip club scene with sexually suggestive dancing and some nudity, and both of the main characters are living with their boyfriends prior to getting married. Profanity is scattered throughout film, and the name of the Lord is taken in vain liberally, at least twenty times.

Overall, I do not recommend this movie, due to moral offenses and a poorly written, poorly acted story. Anne Hathaway’s acting talents manage to shine forth in this dull flick, but she cannot make up for the poorly written script or weak performance given by her co-star, Kate Hudson.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I was thrilled with this movie! I spent 5 years working for a major motion picture studio in Hollywood as a Christian twenty-something, and I know what is out there and what is being made. I went to see this movie to enjoy a good chick flick comedy with another mom. We were not disappointed. This is not a Christian film, so of course it is not perfect—and as Christians we are not either. It is hard to expect perfection in a non perfect world.

This is a secular, Hollywood produced film that was not filled with cursing and sexual innuendo throughout—i.e. as in Four Christmases which I found highly offensive—but rather a sweet, (think child like friendship at the beginning of the movie that lasts) light (think laughter), short (think a 90 min. approximate running. time) film that was very enjoyable. Here are my few, short offenses: Most importantly, I was immeasurably offended by God’s name being taken in vain on one occasion (and if done successively will make me walk out of a theater in a blink) Also, the video of the Spring Break (which was short short short) made me feel slightly uncomfortable as in “where is this scene going?”—and then it was over immediately… a fully clothed Anne Hathaway inebriated was the scene. Also, the strip club scene, which by the way had everyone clothed and was shot without close ups (it’s rated PG, they could not have achieved this rating without it) and Anne’s dancing was well, somewhat interesting, but she was dancing alone for a few moments, not with someone! As far as cleavage, quite frankly I don’t remember any. I remember Kate Hudson’s board room scene with a bra under her suit jacket, shown momentarily, but the scene was so funny that you were trying to surmise the entire ensemble, so I did not find it offensive. I’ve seen worse walking down the street!

Keep in mind who you take with you to see a movie. It is irresponsible to take a child of any age to see a movie without reviewing it in some fashion first.

“Bride Wars”—it’s a good grown up “friendship” movie that is quite tame in today’s world of movie going. Take the chance to see the extremely “few” films of this nature (i.e. PG comedies) with a teen and use these realistic scenes as discussion opportunities (think Spring Break!) Be in the world and not of it. Don’t hide your children from the world so much so that you are raising children that cannot cope with what their friends and the world throw at them, because they will run into non Christian ideals and values out there many, many times. Equip them!!!

This is what I got from the film—it is a sweet, realistic (yes, in the world some people do live together prior to marriage—i.e. discussion point) funny film that nobody died in, was not riddled with cursing and had a lot of truly clean, funny moments. I recommend it for adults, especially women who want a heart warming, girl friend movie that makes them laugh out loud and leave with a smile rather than a box of Kleenex.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—T, age 45 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—“Bride Wars” is a cute and fluffy chick flick about two girls who have been best friends their entire lives. Emma (Anne Hathaway) and Liv (Kate Hudson) both dream of the day when they will each get married and both decide that the only place to get married is at the Plaza in June.

The girls grow up. Liv is a successful lawyer who has it all together all the time, but is rather bossy. Emma is a school teacher who has a healthy dose of common sense, but is a human doormat. They are inseparable. The two become engaged within a few days of each other and they schedule their weddings at the Plaza in June. Emma has the 27th and Liv has the 6th. Of course, the wedding planner (Candice Bergen)'s secretary goofs and the weddings are both scheduled on the 6th. Neither girl wants to be married anywhere else, but the Plaza and neither girl wants a double wedding. The two best friends quickly become mortal enemies and the rest of the movie is about them trying to ruin each other’s weddings. Blue hair and orange skin are only some of the pranks that ensue.

I had two main problems with this movie.

1) The bachelorette party. Liv has a bachelorette party at a “club.” There are three male strippers dressed in Speedo-like shorts. Thankfully, they never undress any farther than that. One of them “dances” with Liv, mostly off screen. Then Emma does a very raunchy dance in an attempt to prove she is a more sexy bride than Liv. The only reasons I think they included this scene in the movie was to make it longer and to try and convince guys to see it. It adds nothing to the story; by that point in the movie, I already understood that the girls hated each other.

2) The rating. I have no idea how this movie got away with being rated PG. This movie includes the usual sexual “jokes,” some flippant remarks about divorce, the two couples living together before they are married, a scene where we discover why Emma doesn’t drink tequila, and, of course, the bachelorette party scene. I would definitely have rated it PG-13.

Minus the bachelorette party scene, this is a funny and sweet movie. The friendship between Emma and Liv is very nice to see. If you liked “27 Dresses,” you’ll like this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Sarah C., age 18 (USA)
Neutral—I rented this movie, and even though it was enjoyable at times, I felt the acting was not as good as it could have been. I like chick-flicks, but this one was not as good as I thought it would be. At times, it was very predictable, and even though it is only rated PG, I personally would not be Okay with children younger than 14 viewing this film.

There is a scene where Anne’s character drops in on Kate’s character’s bachelorette party and does a very provocative dance just to win some contest against Kate’s character. In my opinion, this scene was not needed, and the film would’ve been just as fine without it. I realize the film is titled “Bride Wars,” but at times, I felt like the fighting was very immature. However, I didn’t hate this film. I thought the fact that the characters grew up together was great, because at times, you get to see that they really do care about each other. Also, the ending was very sweet. So, even if this wasn’t my most favorite, and this is my first “neutral” review, it was a cute film… Though I feel it should’ve been awarded a PG-13 rating.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Sarah, age 26 (USA)
Negative
Negative—I was very disappointed in this film… What could have been a very cute portrayal of getting married and the chance of best friends date being the same, was so filled with language, drinking, immorality, suggestive dancing, inappropriate dress, etc. It was filled with at least 10 curse words, 1 taking God’s name in vain. Both couples were living together before marriage and there was a lot of drinking and half-clothed people in it.

The rating certainly should not have been PG, but rather a PG-13. The most offensive part was the bachelorette party with strippers, suggestive dancing, and men only in their “underwear.” I was very disappointed in the role of Anne Hathaway… she was no Princess Diaries actress in this film, she showed off cleavage during the entire film, and very crude in many parts. I would caution against taking young impressionable girls to see this film… as an adult I was very embarrassed at times to be sitting there watching this film.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Debbie, age 42 (USA)
Negative—I took my 12 year old daughter and friend to this movie, excited that it only had a PG rating. It should have had a PG-13 rating and then some. They both live with their boyfriend,s like it’s the most common thing. Everyone has a drink in their hand, almost constantly. Very suggestive dancing and dress. Not the image of a wedding I want portrayed for my daughter.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Terri, age 47 (USA)
Negative—What a disappointment! This movie is just one more example of why we are seeing such a breakdown of marriage and family. As I sat in a theater, packed full of children and teenage boys and girls, I was filled with frustration at so many moral problems in this movie. Both main characters are living with their boyfriends at the outset of the film. Binge drinking is portrayed in a positive, “fun” light, Anne Hathaway (a school teacher mind you) is shown wearing cleavage-revealing clothing at work, Kate Hudson is shown traipsing around in her bra and underwear in front of her fiancé, and then there’s the strip club scene… I was embarrassed that I had brought my mother to see it!

This experience just confirms what I have thought in the past—that we need to assume a movie is garbage unless we read about it first on a Christian movie review site. My heart ached as I watched all the young people smiling and laughing as they left the theater. It’s time we re-sensitize ourselves to worldly filth, and realize it’s movies like this that are contributing to the moral decay of our society.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Carrie, age 30 (USA)
Negative—I was shocked this movie was rated PG not PG-13. I left ashamed that I had taken girls to see the movie and sad for everyone thinking they were going to see a cute PG movie. The Lord’s name is used in vain several times, as well as other cussing throughout the movie. This movie was filled with so many drinking scenes. The two main characters are living with their boyfriends and shown in bed with them. The two main characters go to a strip joint where, again, everyone is drinking, and men are stripping and very suggestive dancing by the girls. One of the girls is at work hung over, in her suit without a shirt on, just her bra, trying to give a presentation. I have never sent in a movie review. I came home so upset about this movie that I wanted to send in a review and try to help get the word out, do not assume you are safe taking your children to a PG movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Stacy Kelly, age 45 (USA)
Negative—I went to see this movie with a friend and was disappointed. As usual Hollywood is desensitizing us by what we take in. Both young ladies have been living with their boyfriend for 10 years and are finally getting married. Also, when they go out for fun, it’s to go have drinks, because people can’t have fun without alcohol. Those are just a few things I had issues with. Don’t waste your money or your valuable time on this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—Meghan Brown, age 30 (USA)
Negative—This should have been PG-13! Couldn’t believe the PG rating! There are numerous times foul language is used. They even manage to slip the term Mother *F* in, did they think by having Anne not fully say the word we wouldn’t catch that? The strip club scene and bar scenes were too much! Very disappointing! What looks to be a pre-teen/teen friendly movie is not! I will not be recommending this film to anyone, so glad we didn’t purchase it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
—Michele, age 39 (USA)
Comments from young people
Negative—This was a disgusting movie. First of all, both of the “brides to be” sleep in the same bed every night with their boyfriends before they are married. Then, the scene at the bachelorette party was horrible. I mean, I guess it could have been worse, but men in tight underwear very suggestively dancing and then the two women having a “sexy” dance off was too much for me. Don’t go see this—there were some good parts, but I don’t even remember them.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Sarah M., age 15 (USA)
Positive—I couldn’t wait to see this movie, and when I saw it, I loved it. I thought it was good, but again it should have been rated PG-13. I thought both girls acted well and played a good war, lol. I hate it when people criticize other people’s acting; I mean, come on, you think you could do better; that’s why they hired her! Well, overall, it was good. …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Ashley, age 14 (USA)
Positive—This movie was…
- cute
- not smart
- funny
- very predictable
This movie had…
- good acting
- a good rating
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Melody, age 15 (Canada)
Negative—This movie had a good storyline but, there was profanity, the bachelorette party was extremely offensive, these couples lived together before they were married, and the spring break video was very offensive. I am only twelve, but if you are a Christian or even if you are not I would not recommend you allow a child under the age of thirteen to watch this movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Meredith, age 12 (USA)
Positive—“Bride Wars” is an extremely funny movie. There was no swearing, except using the Lord’s name in vain, like once—I can’t even remember. This movie would be best seen as a DVD, so when it comes to the Strip Club scene, you can fast forward it. It goes a bit over the top and kind of ruins the movie. There is just very suggestive dancing in that scene, but I think other than that, it is a sweet romantic comedy…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kayla, age 16 (New Zealand)
Neutral—Although I thought this movie was a pretty good chick flick, I think it should have been rated PG-13 for showing the girls in bed with their boyfriends, the scene at the bachelorette party, all the drinking, and almost-f-words (at least one frickin', and at one point Anne Hathaway exclaims “Mother F!”)
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Katie, age 17 (USA)
Neutral—You know what? This movie was not so bad though there was some offensive language like *ss, calling women *itches, *amn, and I think I heard one sh*t. This film could have received a PG-13 rating. Yet, besides the cursing/swearing, this movie was okay to watch for its stupidity.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Emily, age 11 (USA)