Bride Wars

 
Wedding comedy amuses but has inconsistent messages.
  • Review Date: January 8, 2009
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Best friends seem more interested in their wedding days than in their actual marriages, and they let wedding planning get in the way of their friendship.

Positive role models

The main characters are fairly two-dimensional and definitely play up gender stereotypes related to shopping and consumerism.

Violence

A quick pushing and shoving fight between the two brides.

Sex

A couple of scenes of the actresses in hot pants or bras. Several kisses between the engaged couples, who live together and are seen sleeping/cuddling in bed. Male strippers (all shirtless) are shown in the bachelorette party scene.

Language

"Mother Eff" (not the whole word, just "Eff"), plus some insults like "jerk," "ass," etc.

Consumerism

Brands featured include Apple (several Macs and iPods), Tiffany, Vera Wang, The Knot magazine, Bloomingdale's, and Dolce & Gabbana. It's also practically a commercial for The Plaza Hotel.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink alcohol at various wedding receptions, and the brides-to-be and their friends get drunk on tequila shots at their bachelorette party. One character seems to be tipsy most of the time.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this comedy, while mildly amusing and generally age-appropriate for older tweens (who are sure to want to see it), plays up stereotypes about women with its emphasis on shopping, consumerism, and conflict between friends. The main characters are fairly two dimensional, and they seem much more caught up in having the perfect wedding than in having a strong marriage. That said, the language is mild ("ass" and the like), and the sexuality is on the milder side (kisses, a brief glimpse at a bra and panties as a character changes) -- though a bachelorette party scene includes shirtless male strippers. There is a notable amount of drinking (tequila shots, especially), and prominently featured brands include the Plaza Hotel, Apple, Tiffany, and Vera Wang.

What's the story?

Best friends since childhood, middle-school teacher Emma (Anne Hathaway) and high-powered attorney Liv (Kate Hudson), share one common dream -- a June wedding at Manhattan's storied Plaza Hotel. When both women get engaged the same week, they immediately hire the city's best-known wedding planner (Candice Bergen) to secure two dates in June. All is satin and lace until the brides-to-be discover that the Plaza accidentally booked both of their weddings for the same date -- meaning that one of them has to switch her venue, or they'll be hosting competing nuptials (guess which way things go?). For most of the movie, the lifelong BFFs turn into archrival bridezillas out to sabotage each other's weddings while their fiancés (Chris Pratt and Steve Howey) sit around looking helpless and confused.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

BRIDE WARS is more of the same romcom fluff that Hudson -- whose career high is still her early, Oscar-nominated role in Almost Famous -- has been stuck in since How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Hathaway, however, has been getting more acclaim thanks to roles in grittier fare like Rachel Getting Married, so it's hard not to consider this wedding flick a major step down. Not that the target audience -- young girls and engaged women -- will care. Weddings and all their myriad details -- fondant cakes, designer gowns, letter-pressed invitations, personalized everything -- are a huge obsession for many women, and bridal junkies in the audience will definitely get their fix.

For what it is -- a 90-minute reverie for young girls who dream of the "perfect" (read: super expensive) wedding -- the movie does provide some laughs (like the scene portraying how Liv and Em's still-unmarried friends take the news of their double engagement), and even a message. Just what that message is, however, is debatable. On the one hand, there's the obvious idea that a wedding is worthless without the right groom and your best friend by your side. But there's also an inescapable sense that a wedding (or the marriage that follows it) isn't quite worth it unless it comes packaged in Tiffany blue.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the movie portrays its two main characters -- why do they make their weddings into such a big deal? Why can't they just have two separate ceremonies in different places?

  • What did trying to have a dream wedding cost Emma and Liv -- emotionally and financially? Is it a good message to send girls that everyone "deserves" a fancy wedding at the Plaza? Why are weddings such a big deal in general?

  • What role does the media play in making us think that the wedding is as important as the marriage?

  • Parents, talk with your tweens about what a wedding really signifies -- and what happens after the big day. The bachelorette party scene might also prompt a discussion about stripping. What's the appeal? Why does it play such a prominent role in movies/TV shows about bachelor and bachelorette parties?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 9, 2009
DVD release date:April 28, 2009
Cast:Anne Hathaway, Bryan Greenberg, Kate Hudson
Director:Gary Winick
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Comedy
Topics:Friendship
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:suggestive content, language and some rude behavior

This review of Bride Wars was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Written byAnonymous March 1, 2014
age 12+
 

Not a typical wedding movie

Interesting characters and funny situations. Lots of 'finding who you are' and learning to appreciate those around you etc, however the way the two marriages work out is unique and there is a great ending. A good chick flick.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written bybebefefe November 10, 2011
age 12+
 

It was good but not for kids!

Overall, great movie to see with your girlfriends. But if you're thinking of letting your child watch it, think twice! The movie is overall not that inappropriate but there was a lot of drinking which doesn't seem to be a problem if you're kids are already around that or if it's okay to watch it.But the language is on and off, some of the actors may use words that for you are not okay for your children to hear, and the bachlorette party scene was not okay for kids to see in my opinion. But have fun with your friends and watch it with them!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bysmartmom2879 March 6, 2009
age 17+
 

No appropriate for tweens

I took my 12 yr old daughter to see this and it was the most embarrassed I have ever been. It was a cute movie till the bachellorette scene. Men dancing around in hot shorts with dollar bills haning out. Drinking and swinging on stripper ropes. Provokitive dancing, dress, and actions. That 5 minute scene ruined the whole movie.
Adult Written bynutmeg_7 July 19, 2009
age 12+
 

Shouldn't Be PG

I personally thought it was adorable, nonetheless fairly predictable...Although it should not have been rated PG. The dance scene at the bar and the bachelorette party stripper are not kid-friendly.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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