BOTTOM LINE: Lacking any wit, charm, fun or comedy, the only saving grave of "Bride Wars" is that Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway have good chemistry in this boring tale of two brides-to-be who find their respective weddings booked in to the same day, time and place.
THE GOOD: On paper, the concept of "Bride Wars" is actually quite good for a comedy. Two best friends, Liv (Kate Hudson) and Emma (Anne Hathaway) dream of having their weddings at the Plaza Hotel in June because of their very fond memory of a wedding they saw there when they were children. These two best friends get along extremely well until an oversight at a boutique wedding planner sees them booked in to the Plaza Hotel on the same day and time.
With neither willing to budge, both women get in to a battle royal over securing the best of all resources they can for the wedding, including out-doing and embarrassing each other, and competing for guests. Kate Hudson is excellent as the more cut-throat, "looking out for number one" Liv and it is a character she could play more often as opposed to anything goofy and/or fun. Anne Hathaway plays a different type of character as the usually meek and mild Emma who suddenly develops a backbone. Another surprise is that both actresses work very well together; the chemistry is spot on while also making for an effective contrast between the two. Candice Bergen does her best in a supporting role as the exclusive wedding planner who is in effect the meat in the sandwich.
THE BAD: "Bride Wars" lacks the wit, charm, fun and comedy required to make the basic premise work. There is about as much life to this piece as a plank of wood. Although Hudson and Hathaway do their best to make the thing come alive, the events that unfold are completely un-engaging, boring and sometimes unpleasant to watch as the two girls fight each other for something which in the end is so trivial. A better director might have made that triviality funny but unfortunately this is not the case here. As the film goes along, not only are you not laughing but you have no sympathy whatsoever for what the characters are up to. This culminates in to a climax that is far from satisfying with the more nicer of the girls losing out.
But wait, being a Hollywood film, the nice girl still manages to get a replacement husband in the end, just in the nick of time for everyone to live happily ever after and to show off photo albums of memories. It does not help that the film looks cheap. Despite both girls being seemingly well off and affording such extravagant weddings, the cinematography and production design are quite lame and give the impression of a made-for-tv movie rather than a cinematic feature. "Bride Wars" is a disappointing piece of rubbish that in better hands might have actually been quite good.