Benjamin Barry is an advertising executive and ladies' man who, to win a big campaign, bets that he can make a woman fall in love with him in 10 days. Andie Anderson covers the "How To" beat for "Composure" magazine and is assigned to write an article on "How to Lose a Guy in 10 days." They meet in a bar shortly after the bet is made.
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
You know what? Don't tell me anything about Pretty Woman, because I don't even want to hear it.
Runaway Bride is just a good romantic comedy. Yes, the director and the two big name stars are the same as the film's 1990 counterpart, but even though the two films have striking and almost offensive similarities, Runaway Bride has a good enough story that I refuse to believe that it relied on the success of its predecessor.
Julia Roberts is Maggie Carpenter, a hardware store owner (a laughable profession surpassed only by Denise Richards as a nuclear weapons specialist in The World Is Not Enough. Yeah RIGHT!), and Richard Gere is a newspaper columnist (Ike Graham) who has been fired for printing a supposedly false column about a woman who consistently runs out on her marriages. When he travels to the tiny town where she lives to learn more about her life and possibly get his job back, he finds that there is more to her than just a newspaper column.
By the end of the film, there is such a huge media hype about Maggie's wedding that it's a wonder that Ike wasn't honored for his 'false' column about her. Joan Cusack has never looked and acted better than she did in this movie, delivering a wonderful nasally performance that was strangely heartwarming.
Runaway Bride had all kinds of wonderful scenes. I particularly liked the wedding rehearsal scene. The look on Christopher Meloni's face was priceless! There were so many good things about this film that I am able to overlook the superficial look of unoriginality. If you just look past the director and the two big names, the story itself is not at all like any other film. There will, of course, be the inevitable cynical comparisons to Pretty Woman, and these complaints are understandable, but people who condemn Runaway Bride as a rip-off of Pretty Woman or some sort of re-make are simply not looking at the film, but only at the names on the bill. This is a very good romantic comedy, and it should not be missed simply because of a superficial comparison to Pretty Woman.
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