Runaway Bride

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Runaway Bride Movie Poster Image
Cute romantic comedy OK for most older kids.
  • PG
  • 1999
  • 116 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Encourages being aware of behavior that may hurt other people. Promotes the idea that individuality should strengthen a relationship; having "a mind of your own" is better than abandoning personal likes and opinions to make someone else happy. 

 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Main characters are hard workers, good friends, tolerant of others, and generous. They learn important lessons about love, honesty, and self-awareness. Small-town life is depicted as idyllic, safe, and community-oriented. Big-city life is characterized by noise, shallow relationships, ambition, and materialism.

Violence

One punch is thrown.

Sex

Plenty of romantic kisses. Also: some responsibly sexually active adults.

Language

Occasional swearing and insults: "virgin," "whore," "pain in the ass," "schmuck," "screwed-up," "a--hole," "hell," "one-eyed snake."

Consumerism

Some references in dialogue, others are visual: Budweiser, Michelob, USA TODAY, Busch, RCA, GQ Magazine, Redken, Pepsi, Fed-Ex, Everlast  boxing equipment, UTZ snacks, Kenra hair products, and some local New York shops and restaurants.

 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Social drinking in several settings: in a bar, restaurant, at a luau, at home, at a neighborhood baseball game. The father of the bride is revealed to be an alcoholic and shown with a drink in his hand on multiple occasions; at one time he is very drunk and needs his daughter's assistance before passing out in her car.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the comedy Runaway Bride is fairy-tale light and will appeal to tweens and teens, as well as adults who like their romance on the fantasy side rather than dealing with real, flawed people and thorny situations. Even the trickiest problems are easily resolved, and, of course, everyone lives happily ever after. One punch is thrown; a character is an alcoholic (without the usual drama associated with that addiction); and there are a few off-color terms sprinkled throughout (such as "schmuck," "asshole," "pain in the ass"). There's little on-camera sexuality except for some romantic kissing and the implication that the characters are, and have been, sexually active. A few skimpy costumes are worn at a Hawaiian luau, and one T-shirt clearly reads: "Mountaineers do it against the wall." Lots of clear product placement.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylorif April 9, 2008

Super Movie!

This was a great movie. A must see! Julia was wonderful and Richard was supurb as usual!
Adult Written byMomTime February 22, 2013

Pretty Entertaining, Some sexual dialogue you should know about.

It was enjoyable enough to watch with my sixth grader, but I would have appreciated a "heads up" on the dialogue re: her being afraid of the wedding n... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 10, 2010

God for any one 9+ who likes a part romance and all comandy

I really liked thus movie it's a cute flick. The only conserns might be kissing and the alchole but it has a good message and the acting is really great!!!... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written bymovie_Nerd102 April 9, 2008

REALLY FUNNY

some iffy jokes but nothing you havent heard

What's the story?

The stars and director of Pretty Woman reunited for this romantic comedy, which gets rolling when cynical USA Today columnist Ike Graham (Richard Gere) writes an irate column about Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts), a small-town woman who has left three grooms at the altar. When she writes the paper to point out 15 inaccuracies, he is fired by his editor and former wife (Rita Wilson). So, he goes to investigate Maggie, hoping to write a story about her that will vindicate him and restore his career. He's in luck -- Maggie is heading to the altar again, so he goes to her her quaint Maryland hometown, where the wedding will be, befriending the town folk and Maggies' father (Paul Dooley). At first he hopes she'll bolt again so he'll get a good story. But before long, he's hoping her plans fall through so he can be her next finace.

Is it any good?

When people say, "They don't make movies like that anymore," this is the kind of movie they mean. It is a fine tribute to those classic 1930s screwball romantic comedies. Roberts and Gere create real screen magic together. Gere displays a previously unsuspected light comic talent that is utterly disarming. Roberts just gets better and better; like the character she plays, she is learning to rise above her "excessively flirtatious energy."

The indispensable Joan Cusack plays Maggie's best friend, utterly supportive despite having to live through four different bridesmaid's dresses. And three cheers for adding a small but genuine dose of psychological insight to give a little bit of substance to the story. Both Ike and Maggie have to learn something about themselves before they can move forward together.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of being a mature person yourself before you are capable of making a commitment to anyone else.

  • Hoe does Runaway Bride compare with other Julia Roberts movies you've seen?

  • How does this movie stack up against other romantic comedies?

Movie details

For kids who love romance and comedy

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