|RUNAWAY BRIDE (1999)|
|"You're a cynical, exploitive, mean-hearted creep who wouldn't know real love if it bit him in the armpit."|
|Time: 116 mins.|
Official Web Site
Genre: Romantic Comedy
RUNAWAY BRIDE begins with an interesting enough concept and that's where it stays. It's pretty obvious to the audience, and would be to any woman with a brain, why "the bride" keeps leaving men standing like idiots at the altar. It's not hard to figure out. She's going to keep running until she finally discovers who SHE really is and stops trying to be what the men the chooses want her to be. If I figured this out in the first 5 minutes, why do I have to watch the other rest of the film. Why exactly. This film never even tries to scratch the surface of these characters, relying on the premise that a bride running from the church, using various modes of transportation, will be engaging and funny enough to keep the audience interested. It's not. There was no suspense about whether or not she would actually go through with the ceremonies because it was obvious she wouldn't until she found herself, even after she found the man for her.
Roberts plays the bride with a committment problem, Gere plays a NY columnist who exposes her eccentricities to the world and eventually falls for her himself. Big surprise. The only thing that keeps this scant-plotted film afloat is the charm of its' two leads. They don't have the spark that made the first one a hit, but they obviously enjoy working together and that keeps this movie from being completely unwatchable. Gere gets fired from his job when Roberts' character Maggie writes to the paper fuming about being misrepresented and threatening a lawsuit for libel.
In order to get his job back and prove he was right about her, Ike wends his way to her small town to get the real scoop about her on the eve of her third trip to the altar. Maggie is determined to go through with this wedding and nothing Ike can say or dig up is going to stop the wedding. It quickly becomes apparent that Ike is talking some sense into Maggie, trying to get her to understand why she keeps running away, which he soon discovers the reason for after talking to everyone in town. He's come to care for her and hates to see her become the eternal town joke.
She falls for him after a sweet kiss at her wedding rehearsal. She comes to realize that he's the only man she's ever known who hasn't tried to make her into what he wants, a man who accepts her for who she is. Even if she has no idea who that person is. Instead of completely cancelling the wedding, she decides to go through with it with Ike as the groom. They try to play this ceremony with Ike as the runner, but he eventually shows up and Maggie does exactly what's expected of her...run. It all works out in the end, when she finally finds herself and then proposes to Ike. He makes her sweat abit, but who could say no to Julia. Unless you're a huge Roberts or Gere fan, there's really no reason to sit through this movie. It has it's sweet, romantic and funny moments, but they don't make up for a completely empty story.