Ike Graham has his own by-lined column in USA Today, which he usually uses as a forum to rail against the opposite sex. For his latest column which he writes at the last minute as usual, he, based on some information from a stranger in a bar about a woman he knows of back home, includes the story of still single Hale, Maryland residing Maggie Carpenter, who is known as the "Runaway Bride" since she has been engaged multiple times, but always leaves her betrothed standing at the altar. Because an incensed Maggie complains to the newspaper for factual inaccuracies in her story, Ike is fired, but he realizes that the story still has some life in it and thus decides to go to Hale to do further investigation. He finds that Maggie is again engaged, now for the fourth time, this time to high school football coach and adventurist Bob Kelly, who is confident enough in himself to know he will be different than the previous three grooms. When Maggie finds out that her arch enemy Ike is in town, ... Written by
Maggie presents Ike with a gift of the 'Miles Davis' album "Kind of Blue." The closeup shot is that of the original 1950's album cover. The camera cuts to a shot of the two of them in the doorway, and the album cover has changed to the "Columbia Jazz Masters" reissue cover from much later. See more »
"Runaway Bride" is one of those films that probably looked good on paper - bankable stars like Julia Roberts and Richard Gere trying to rework their "Pretty Woman" magic in a similar plot - but is so horribly mishandled it became painful to watch.
I rented it because my wife wanted to see it, and besides it was only an extra $1.00 with another 5-day rental at the local video store. How bad could it be for a dollar?
Let's put it this way - paying $1.00 to see this film was a rip-off. I shut off the movie after 30 minutes. My wife, who likes romantic comedies, stopped watching after an hour. The only reason I think she lasted that long was she was on allergy medication and lacked the strength to push the "Stop" button. The last movie I can recall her refusing to finish was "10 Violent Women" (we were in B-Movie/MST3K mode when we rented that one). As you have already determined, lumping "10 Violent Women" and "Runaway Bride" together is a huge red flag for the discriminating moviegoer.
First of all, Richard Gere's character is at best confused, but he is also conniving and mean. He's piggish yet suave - a great combination for a modern romance, I guess. He writes for USA Today, but is surprised when he's fired for not checking the 'facts' of his story. He tries to vindicate himself by getting the real story on Julia Robert's character, but he annoyingly turns up everywhere prying into every last detail of her life - and even though he just skewered her in a nationwide newspaper, everyone including Julia's fiance accepts and loves him. He's not a journalist - he's a stalker.
Julia Roberts is her usual cutesy self. At best, she gets by on charm, and if that's all you require I guess you'll like this film.
Most scenes are predictable and/or require the use of Roger Ebert's infamous "idiot plot." For example - in the first scene in the beauty shop, where I shut off the videotape. I won't give it away for those who want to see this film, but just watch and think about it for one second - would a big-city reporter fall for the towel gag? Why on earth would we buy this as a plot twist?
I found it impossible to identify with or care about any of the characters. Since both main characters and the plot are thin and uninteresting, the smaller aspects of the film might as well be problematic too. Some scenes and dialog, especially those of the minor characters like Julia's family and the ladies at the salon, would be better left on the cutting room floor. Most of the actors either seem uneasy with their dialog or are sleepwalking through stereotypical roles. The first 30 minutes seemed like a continuous product placement ad for USA Today and Z28's. The soundtrack songs are unimaginative - "Maneater" for crying out loud? I felt like I was watching a UPN sitcom instead of a movie.
I wish I could find something positive about this film, but it is only a transparent attempt to sequel "Pretty Woman" and make a bundle. My advice is short: don't see this film. Save yourself the time and money, even if it's only a dollar.
My Rating: 1 out of a possible 10
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