Film review – Bride Wars (2009)

Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) are best friends who have always dreamed of the perfect wedding with each other as their maid of honour. However, when they both get engaged and end up competing for the same venue, on the same day, at the same time, their friendship completely falls apart. With a story about best friends and rivalries between women, it is clear that Bride Wars is aimed at a young female audience as it is also filled with fashion, snappy dialogue, and lots of screaming whenever something goes wrong…or when something really good happens. However, it is difficult imagining anybody enjoying Bride Wars. It is not clever or dark enough for its depressing attitude towards women to be satire and it is not funny enough to be light, frivolous and fun.

Liv, Emma and every other female character in Bride Wars are completely superficial, vacuous and irritating.  It is simply no fun spending time in their company, which is extraordinary given that both Hudson and Hathaway are extremely likeable performers. Director Gary Winick is no hack either and 13 Going on 30 (Suddenly 30 in Australia) demonstrated that he is more than capable of making a good ‘chick flick’.

Bride Wars is a bad film that revels in far too many clichés – there’s a wacky dance montage, lame gags depicting the weddings being run like a military operation, public showdowns and outbursts of emotion, and of course the whole concept that ever since they are little girls all women want to do is have a lavish dream wedding. Bride Wars isn’t trying to be anything that it’s not but by having such a flippant attitude towards its female characters it leaves behind a very troubling representation of what modern women are supposed to be like.

© Thomas Caldwell, 2009


  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one really disliked this film. I saw it at a media screening and the general consensus was that it was pretty bad. Nevertheless there was one critic who howled with laughter throughout so go figure.

    Your review is great and describing your responses while watching the film is a really fun idea.

    I’ll be guest co-hosting a radio show called “The Casting Couch” this Saturday and we’ll be reviewing Bride Wars if you are interested in listening as the station is JOY 94.9, Australia’s gay and lesbian station. You can listen online at from 5pm-7pm (UTC/GMT +11)

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