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Bride Wars


Stars: Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, Candice Bergen, Kristen Johnson

Director: Gary Winick

Squeaky, squawky, femme-feud comedy, one of those bright ideas which has got lost in translation to the screen. Best friends since childhood, hard-headed lawyer Liv (Hudson) and put-upon but sunny schoolteacher Emma (Hathaway) find themselves engaged at the same time, and go for their long-held dream of a white wedding at the New York Plaza, organised by the city's poshest wedding planner (Bergen).

One picks 6 June, the other the 27th but, thanks to a vastly improbable mix-up at the planner's, both weddings have to be on the 6th (the date, that of the Allied invasion of Germany in World War Two, can't be coincidental). Both want the other to move their venue (since it's possible to have both at the Plaza, this seems odd) and the lifelong friendship fractures big-time.

With each unable to be the other's maid of honour, Liv is forced to ask her 'second cousin's best friend'. while Emma is reduced to roping in the person at school she hates most (Johnson). Both dig their heels in over the venue, and things soon escalate. Emma sends Liv chocolates to make her too fat for her dress (it succeeds). Liv sneaks into Emma's beauty parlour to turn her skin red, while Emma sneaks into Liv's to dye her hair blue, then wrecks her bachelorette party.

Both stars try hard, Hathaway in particular throwing herself into the silliness with abandon, but clumsy direction muffles what comic possibilies the piece has. The men are all bland and interchangeable and it's hard to see why Hathaway would want to swap one for another at the end; any sentiment in the plot is glutinously handled.

David Quinlan

USA 2008. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
87 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 03 Jan 2009