BluRay Review
by Kevin Carr

    MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
    DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
    BLURAY EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5 stars)

    Kate Hudson as LIV
    Anne Hathaway as EMMA
    Bryan Greenberg as NATE
    Chris Pratt as FLETCHER
    Steve Howey as DANIEL
    Candice Bergen as MARION ST. CLAIRE
    Kristen Johnston as DEB

    Rated PG
    Studio: Fox 2000 Pictures

    Directed by: Gary Winick

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“Bride Wars” follows Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway), best friends who have had a lifelong dream of a June wedding at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. When they each get engaged at the same time, they try to schedule the Plaza, only to find out they get double-booked on the same day. Neither wants to give up “the happiest day of their life,” and they become bitter enemies to have the better wedding.

Considering when “Bride Wars” was released in the theaters – the first week of January, which is normally reserved for Hollywood dreck like “Meet the Spartans” – I was pleasantly surprised with the film. Sure, it wouldn’t have held up as well against the stronger romantic comedies that you find in the spring and fall, but for a winter release, it was pretty decent.

The strongest part was the cast. Not necessarily the stars, but the supporting roles. Of course, both Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway came across funny and adorable. They’re easy to watch, and they became their characters well. However, it was the secondary roles that really stole the show. Kristen Johnston’s part as Emma’s last-minute maid of honor is priceless, and June Diane Raphael as a bride ready for divorce steals all her scenes (and much of the BluRay special features as well).

For a light romantic comedy, “Bride Wars” works. Sure, the characters are truly dreadful and shallow people, but the movie isn’t meant to be a deep character study. The best parts come when the gloves are off, leading the girls to pull some of the most awful pranks on each other. Call me a cynic, but I enjoyed the “Wars” parts of the film rather than the “Bride” parts of the film.

“Bride Wars” is easily vanquished by reciting all the standard complaints about a run-of-the-mill romantic comedy. It’s corny. It’s cheesy. The characters don’t have any depth. It relies on goofy “Three’s Company” moments and some low-brow comedy. But fans of rom-coms will look past all of this. The chick flick crowd will enjoy it.

There were only two things that really stuck in my craw with this film. First, there’s a bit of a twist in the last part of the film that really does come out of nowhere with very little set-up. Without resorting to spoilers, I will say that this moment is ultimately unnecessary for the overall film, although it does serve a certain aspect of the character, which you’ll find discussed in the special features. Still, it seems that these aspects of the character were downplayed in the final product of the film, leaving us with a clumsy plot convention.

The other problem I had with the movie was the superficial nature of the brides. I understand that many girls grow up wanting the classic, beautiful wedding, but so much focus is put on the wedding industry in this film that it ultimately cheapens the actual meaning behind the ceremony.

The BluRay comes in a three-disc set. The first disc is in BluRay format and is loaded with special features. These include two “Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character” segments, one with Anne Hathaway and the other with Kate Hudson. There’s also several deleted scenes, along with some improvisation moments with the cast. The “Meet Me at the Plaza” featurette is basically an advertisement to have your wedding at the Plaza (if you can afford it, that is), and “The Perfect Wedding Dress” is a plug for Vera Wang’s collection.

The BluRay also contains several in-character candid video segments. One features Liv’s “maid” of honor trying to keep her wedding afloat. Another features the male actors justifying their testosterone levels in the film. Finally, June Diane Raphael appears once again as her character, drunk at the reception.

Finally, the BluRay offers “Something Old, Something New and What That’s Gonna Cost You,” a pop-up trivia track that also includes a price tag for the various items in the film. Fathers in the audience will want to skip this (or will they?) unless you want to suffer the sticker shock of paying $13,000 for a wedding coordinator.

Also included in the BluRay 3-disc set is the DVD of the movie, which includes the deleted scenes and the “Perfect White Dress” featurette. This is also the only features included in the standard DVD release of the film.

The final disc includes a digital copy of the film which can be downloaded to your portable device.

Rom-com fans and girls who want ideas for a ridiculously expensive wedding.

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