Runaway Bride

"Good"

Runaway Bride Review


Julia Roberts and Richard Gere have the kind of spellbound chemistry that can make even a movie riddled with flaws feel like an instant romantic comedy classic.

Like Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, Debroah Kerr and Yul Brynner, Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, when Roberts and Gere share the screen, there's just no denying something magical is happening between them.

Their eyes lock when they just glance at each other. They crack giddy smiles like they just can't help it. They're drawn to each other like magnets.

This chemistry, which was the only thing that made "Pretty Woman" work at all, is even more incandescent in "Runaway Bride," a much more grown-up romantic comedy about a commitment-phobic, farm-town girl who has a habit of never making it through a wedding march.

Having bolted from three ceremonies before, Maggie Carpenter (Roberts) is in preparation for her fourth attempt at a walk down the aisle when misogynistic USA Today columnist Ike Graham (Gere) writes a vicious article about her from New York, based solely on a story he's told by a guy in a bar (something, by the way, a real newspaperman would never do).

Fired from his job for the piece, he makes for Maggie's rural Maryland town to write an in-depth follow up, with which he hopes to land a gig at GQ, and quickly charms his way into her life by buddying up to her friends, her family and her latest fiance.

The fact that these people would embrace this city slicker who belittled their local celebrity before the nation is one of several nagging quibbles in "Runaway Bride" that are overcome by the Roberts-Gere magic. Even Maggie's reaction to meeting this man is pretty tepid. She's fussy when she should be furious.

But if she ran him out of town, there would be no plot, I suppose, so for a while "Bride" resembles the second act of "In & Out," with the humorously unethical and definitely determined reporter running around the small town getting the skinny on the bride and practically taking bets on the outcome of her impending nuptials.

Directed by the inconsistent and frequently idiotic Garry Mashall, who is also part of the "Pretty Woman" reunion but directed "Dear God," "Exit to Eden" and other crimes against the cinema as well, "Runaway Bride" has many major inconsistencies. The leads have little depth beyond an insatiable ability to call each other on their foibles. Maggie's motives for marriage and for tolerating Ike are never very clear, and Ike isn't as abrasive as he ought to be to make the tension work. Marshall's slapdash rendering of small town America consists largely of quaintness cliches (barber shop quartet, anyone?), and several scenes are absurdly staged.

But by the time Maggie agrees to be interviewed, and the reluctantly romantic sparks begin to fly, none of this matters much, because when Roberts and Gere play meant-for-each-other, there's electricity in the air.

Maggie and Ike become tentative friends and she begins to have doubts about her marriage after he slips her some enchanting amateur Freud on the topic of her commitment evasion techniques. It's all dime novel dialogue, to be frank, but Roberts and Gere are obviously having so much fun in their roles that you can't help but enjoy them, whatever is coming out of their mouths.

Marshall makes up for a lot of bad movies with the unpredictable will-she-or-won't-she climax of "Runaway Bride," which was written by Sara Parriott and Josann McGibbon -- the team behind the little-known guilty pleasure chick flick "The Favor" (featuring Brad Pitt in his generic hunk days).

The movie is a little under-ripe, but it boasts a great supporting cast (Joan Cusack, Rita Wilson, Hector Elizando), it's consistently funny (one running gag has Ike being swatted with rolled up newspapers by random angry female readers), and most importantly, its delightfully romantic.

"Pretty Woman" fans who have outgrown their hooker-Cinderella fantasies will appreciate the more mature (but still wonderfully giddy) love story of "Bride," but even stone-hearted fellas who couldn't stand that movie will get a warm fuzzy feeling from this one.



Runaway Bride

Facts and Figures

Run time: 116 mins

In Theaters: Friday 30th July 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $309.5M

Budget: $70M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Lakeshore Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Touchstone Pictures, Interscope Communications

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%
Fresh: 39 Rotten: 45

IMDB: 5.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Maggie Carpenter, as Ike Graham, as Peggy Flemming, as Ellie Graham, as Fisher, as Coach Bob Kelly, as Walter Carpenter, as Priest Brian Norris, as Pretty Woman in Bar, as Model Shelby, Tom Mason as Final Wedding Pastor, as Dead Head Gill Chavez, as George Swilling, Jane Morris as Mrs. Pressman, as Grandma, as Betty Trout, as Bartender

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.