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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.
Until Runaway Bride came on the scene, I didn't realize how dated Pretty
Woman had become! Fans of Pretty Woman will delight in the thinly veiled
references and homages that Runaway Bride serves up. This is a fun film,
very tongue in cheek in it's delivery. The first viewing of the film may
seem a little flat, but after watching it subsequent times, you get a
definite feel for the dance that is perfected here. That is what I look for
in a movie; can I watch it over and over and still delight in it?
I took absolute delight in the setting of this film more so than anything. The movie refers to the town as Hale, Maryland. The actual town is Berlin, Maryland, absolutely gorgeous and located more to the Northeastern part of the state. Setting is everything here because you focus more on the characters and the small town atmosphere than the glitz and glitter of a major city. The character Maggie Carpenter is not unlike women of her generation--perhaps we tend to marry later in life now more than ever because we don't want to make that mistake that ends in divorce. Maggie doesn't know what she wants out of life, but she has enough sense to get down to the minute and realize a mistake. Her timing is rough, but it manages to avoid divorce lawyer, right?
Drink in the backdrop of the movie, and enjoy the main characters and the strong ensemble cast in this enticingly amusing tale of love and romance redefined.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Julia Roberts seems to be one of the most hated celebrities on this
website. I can't really understand why. I find her to be talented and
charming as well as engaging and usually likable, until I saw Runaway
Bride. I thought I was going to like this one but it offered some of
the most unlikable characters I have ever seen in a romantic comedy.
Generally, the audience should want to cheer for the two people to get
together but I couldn't care less. I don't think Maggie Carpenter
(Julia Roberts) actually deserved to be in a marriage because she was
selfish, immature and seemed incapable of love. I just couldn't fathom
why anyone would actually be attracted to her. She has weddings like
there no big deal and she probably wasted a lot of money between the
four failed ones she had. She has her fiancé invest all of his time
into the relationship, trying to show her that he does indeed love her
only to be left at the altar. I guess the situation was supposed to be
humorous and I shouldn't have taken it so seriously but it was tough to
overlook all of the garbage the film was trying sell to me.
Acting wise the film was decent, which did save it a little. Julia Roberts gives an okay performance, although it's one of her worst. However, she is working with rather weak material and she's portraying a woman that is just so hard to like. Richard Gere was also decent although nothing special. The chemistry between these two was basically non-existent which made their relationship seem completely fake and unrealistic. It was hard to buy that a cynical man would fall for a woman that has no problem trampling all over a man's heart. They did have a few funny scenes together though which made the film more enjoyable. Unfortunately, the film runs for an inexplicable 116 minutes so there are a lot of dead spots.
Romantic comedies shouldn't really be loathsome movies. The characters should be likable and engaging so it's easy to get behind them and the story shouldn't be too far-fetched. Unfortunately, Runaway Bride commits the worst sin for a romantic comedy by offering unlikable characters, making it basically impossible to really get into the movie despite how talented the cast may be.
When I first saw this movie, following the wonderful "Notting Hill," I was
less than thrilled. However, I have watched and watched and watched
"Runaway Bride" and it really is a witty romance. What is particularly
poignant about the film is the chemistry between Gere and Roberts. Though
it seems very fast, it is completely natural for fans of "Pretty Woman,"
saw these two fall in love a decade earlier.
Roberts is wonderful in this movie. She is completely comfortable, natural, and highly believable as the spunky Maggie Carpenter. Gere is cocky, weathered, and attractive as the misguided Ike Graham. The plot is predictable, but the first act is snappy and the climax is well-done. It may not please most people on the first run, but rent it again and you'll begin to see the subtleties that make it great.
I found "Pretty Woman" charming, and I suppose I still do, but in one
respect its storyline is contrived. (In ONE respect? I hear you ask. Well,
maybe more than one, but only one that worries me.) This much of the
standard formula a light love story MUST follow: (a) boy falls in love with
girl, (b) girl falls in love with boy, (c) obstacle, (d) union. Timing is
surprisingly unimportant. It doesn't matter when (c) is established - it
can be before the curtain rises, or half an hour before it falls - nor does
it matter if (a) and (b) are simultaneous, or over an hour apart. (And
obviously it doesn't matter which one comes first. Even the order c-b-d-a
is acceptable.) The trouble with "Pretty Woman" is (c). So she's a
prostitute. So what? It's a pity that twentieth-century writers have
somehow acquired the idea that external obstacles are less interesting than
internal ones: it isn't true, and in any event, internal obstacles are
harder to draw convincingly.
Which is why (FINALLY, I get to the point) "Runaway Bride" is a more pleasant confection than "Pretty Woman". Believe me, you don't know how surprised I am to find myself writing this. Before I saw the movie I was all but certain it would be deathly stale. The premise - love blossoms between an insulting newspaper columnist and a serial jilter he writes about - screamed, "This will spend two hours going nowhere" at me ... and the curious thing is, now that I've seen the film, I can't even remember why I found the idea so unpromising. Maybe I was unduly swayed by the last Julia Roberts romantic comedy I saw, "I Love Trouble", which was at once thin, bloated, and flat.
"Runaway Bride" is none of these things. It's over two hours, but none of this is bloat: it takes its time because it NEEDS this time, given obstacle (c), to convincingly establish (a) and (b). The film doesn't waste our time any more than it wastes our own. I was never bored; very often I was even basking in the glow. Tastes in romantic comedy are hard to justify or defend, so I'll leave it at that.
Committing to a relationship means getting married, but if you are not up to
being committed than it can mean you have cold feet'. Well in this movie
the bride to be has anything, but cold feet. She might as well be wearing
running shoes down the alter, as that is what we get to see, not once but
many times, and it is a funny thing to watch as well.
Ike Graham is a big-city newspaper journalist who causes an uproar with an unflattering and wildly erroneous story about Maggie Carpenter, a small-town woman whose reputation for leaving men stranded at the alter has made her a local legend! But while Ike plans to prove he was right about Maggie all along and Maggie plans to even the score with Ike.. neither expect the sparks that fly when they finally meet!
Now considering that Pretty Woman was one of Hollywood's biggest films of the eighties, and with good reason, it was always going to be difficult to cash in on its success for a second time. I believe that Runaway Bride' was trying to do such a thing. Although I personally enjoyed this film, I can see why some people might not have. It did not have the same appeal that audiences everywhere had for Pretty Woman.
Perhaps the cast was in some way responsible for the movie being a popular choice for movie-goers to want to see. Undoubtedly, the onscreen presents of both Julia Roberts and Richard Gere is a big deal for movie fans. I can see why, this film for me backs up that relationship. Roberts is a star in her own right, who deserves all the accolades that come her way. You can not help but like her and that great smile. Gere has had a very good career also. With movies that include The Jackal, alongside Superstar Bruce Willis, Final Analysis and Primal Fear.
I enjoyed the story that was presented to audiences in this film. Having a girl that continually runs out on her husband to be is an interesting concept, which was well adapted to the bigscreen. Though I would hope in real life that a girl as gorgeous as Maggie Carpenter is, would not bolt for the church door when you are about to commit to her for your whole life. The story for this movie was written by two people, Josann Mcgibbon and Sara Parriott. I feel they both
Director Garry Marshal also deserves a mention. You could feel (well I did at least) some part of Pretty Woman coming through in this film, and this undoubtedly was because of Garry. He has done some incredible work which include movies such as The other sister, Beaches and TV shows the caliber of Mork and Mindy, Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley.
This movie also had some good lines when it came to the issues of love, relationships and how men and women interact with each other. The one line that stands out the most would have to be when Maggie asks of Ike
`Is there one right' person for everyone?'
I love his response -
`No, but I think attraction is mistaken for rightness.'
I totally agree, because I think people can make so many mistakes when it comes to looking for that right person. That is the reason, I believe, for the high separation/divorce rate. You need to be able to act like you always do around someone, in order to be able to say they are in someway right' for you, because if you cant then there is no point even trying to make a go with them.
The music of Runaway Bride' was of significance to me, so much so that I did not realise how good that it was the first time. Martina McBride's tune of `I love you' was an obvious favourite from the film, with other artist including Coco- Lee, the Dixie Chicks, with a great rendition of the classic hit `You can't hurry love' , and U2. This is one soundtrack I definitely want to add to my collection.
So the lesson this movie gives to its audience is that marriage might not be for every person. However, it also show that you can overcome your difficulties in taking the next step in your relationship, if that is what has to be or wants to be done, by open and honest with your partner. Warning: For anyone who is about to get married or starting married life this might not be your film, then again it might just be too. If you like a laugh then you should say I do' to what I think is a delightfully engaging romantic comedy!
Rating: 8/10 or 4 Stars
This is a thoroughly contrived film, but a pleasant watch nonetheless.
Julia Roberts and Richard Gere still exhibit an easy going chemistry
after their blockbuster 'Pretty Woman'. This film though isn't as good.
The characters are superficial, and the story unbelievable. However, a
lovely romantic sound-track and some soothing romantic moments between
the two likable stars carry the film. The humor is mild but generally
works. The supporting cast including Hector Elizondo and Joan Cusack
work hard to elevate mediocre material using effective comic timing. A
pleasant watch at home.
I'm normally a huge Julia Roberts fan and while I found this romantic
comedy entertaining enough, it cannot compare with her fabulous earlier
movie, Pretty Woman, also starring Richard Gere. Nor did I care for it
as much as her other comedy romances (most notably Notting Hill) or
most of the Meg Ryan ones, especially Sleepless in Seattle.
The story revolves around a lovely young woman, Maggie Carpenter, who has left a series of three would be grooms partway through their wedding ceremony. A reporter named Ike Graham gets fired after writing an exaggerated article of half truths on her story, so to salvage his career, he travels to her small hometown, where he attempts to ferret out her true tale and get the scoop on her upcoming fourth nuptials. Needless to say, Ike does not prove very popular with his journalistic subject, Maggie, as he harasses her family & friends for info. However, he begins to feel protective of her when townsfolk mock her track record of jilting her fiancé at the altar.
Julia Roberts is invariably appealing & sympathetic in her roles, and typically this proves true in her portrayal here of Maggie. Richard Gere is competent as the journalistic vulture, Ike. I don't fault the lack of chemistry as much as the story, which simply isn't as good as Pretty Woman.
Of course romantic comedies are never exactly bastions of realism, but this tale where such a young woman has already run away from three weddings and is now embarking upon number four, really seems too far fetched even for this genre. One would suspect that any prospective groom would be quite leery by now, and why does Maggie keep planning these gala ceremonies if she suspects she might ultimately get cold feet? All in all, it's a cute, light hearted, & entertaining movie with some good scenes, but definitely not the best of its genre. For sure, it lacks the magic of Pretty Woman but judge this one on its own merits.
This movie was a light hearted comedy as expected. I could not help
comparing it to Pretty Woman, and it fell short. I wanted to love this
as much as I did Pretty Woman, but Garry Marshall dropped the ball.
It was so obvious to me what was missing from the formula.
It had a weak musical background sound track when it should have had a score that would carry your emotions to a climax. Pretty Woman used the love duet from La Traviata. The second thing it was missing was some better defined sub characters. The actors were wooden, and it was harmful. Remember the elevator boy in Pretty Woman? Remember the miserable sales lady in the dress shop? They were great characters. ...and of course, the theme song Prett Woman. This was a good movie, but Garry dropped the ball. He had a built in audience ready to embrace Runaway Bride, and just couldn't. Fred Auerbach
This was probably one of the most god awful movies I've seen a long time. It amazes me how the director, Garry Marshall, can find work after putting this piece of garbage out. This movie is even worse than an earlier debacle of his "Dear God" starring Greg Kinear. The plot is stupid and makes no sense and the chemistry between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere is non-existent. I think I'd rather watch paint dry than to watch this film again. It ranks up there with Freddy Got Fingered, Gigli and the Adventures of Joe Dirt as far as bad movies go. This will be the last Garry Marshall film that I will ever see. What happened to the director who filmed "Frankie and Johnny" and "The Flamingo Kid"? There's nothing worse than wasted talent.
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