Runaway Bride

Runaway Bride


Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Hollywood movies are easy to mock for their artificiality, schmaltz and lightweight fare. Garry Marshall, who made Pretty Woman, is a past master. The credit sequence of his latest is nonsense, but so well done. It shows Julia Roberts, as the runaway bride, galloping through trees and over meadows, wearing a snow white wedding dress. Genuine effort has been taken over this sequence, which is visually striking. It puts you in the mood.

The story is predictable, but not without interest. Richard Gere is a famous New York columnist who is sacked for not being entirely accurate about a small town girl who has a habit of leaving grooms at the altar. If journalists lost their jobs for telling lies, there would be no papers. Also, he says at one point, "Journalism is literature in a hurry." What?

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He goes to Maryland, finds the girl, meets her family and the high school football coach (yawn), prospective husband #4. He wants to uncover the truth behind her bizarre behaviour and write an article about it. The town is cutesy, middle-class, picture postcard spotless, with a barbershop quartet on the corner. Roberts runs the hardware store, but spends most of her time gossiping with pals in the hair salon - remember Steel Magnolias? Joan Cusack, always the bridesmaid, is on hand with funny faces.

As a star vehicle, the film delivers. Gere and Roberts look great. The charm levels are high, the reality levels too low to register. As an autumnal pick-me-up, before intimations of the millennium destroy your will to live, the thought of Julia legging it from the permamulch of some other guy feels good.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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Romance beckons when a reporter is assigned to write a story on a bride who keeps ditching grooms at the altar.
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Director: Garry Marshall

Writer: Josann McGibbon, Sara Parrott

Starring: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack, Hector Elizondo, Rita Wilson, Paul Dooley, Christopher Meloni, Donal Logue, Reg Rogers, Yul Vazquez, Jane Morris

Year: 1999

Runtime: 116 minutes

BBFC: PG - Parental Guidance

Country: US


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If you like this, try:

Pretty Woman