The only real significance RUNAWAY BRIDE every had in my life was the mere fact that after 17 years, My granny went to the movies to see a film. The last time she had ventured into a darkened theater was in 1982 when she took me to see E.T. Garry Marshall had found himself in a good spot with the success of Overboard, Beaches and Pretty Woman, but as the millennium came to a close, his spotty feel good films were starting to wear on the patience of most movie goers. Bomb after bomb brought him to the 1999 romantic comedy RUNAWAY BRIDE or RUNAWAY HORSE FACE or RUNAWAY SHITBOX.
Trying to recapture magic in a film is not an easy task. Just ask John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. Twist of Fate was suppose to rekindle their Grease magic, but it just seemed to come off a greasy blot. But things like that never deter Garry Marshall. Hoping to spark up the fire between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts once again, it seemed like a sure fire bet. I mean, everyone love Pretty Woman, right? At the very least, the part when she runs and falls on the bed and goes shopping is entertaining. Julia Roberts was right in the middle of her big My Best Friend's Wedding (AKA MONSTER) comeback and was just one year away from snatching herself an Oscar. And she owed Garry Marshall BIG TIME!
We first see Roberts donned in a wedding dress, while trotting away on a horse. See! RUNAWAY BRIDE! The best part of Runaway Bride is getting to shout, "RUN BITCH RUN!" for most of the movie. They don't call her Runaway bride for nothing. She earned that title. So the jest of the film is that shitty people deserve love too.
Maggie Carpenter has a problem. A HUGE problem. She just can't seem to make it down the aisle after forcing everyone who loves her to take time out of their busy day to attend her wedding. She also can't be bothered with all the money spent on said wedding, funded her own alcoholic father and various father-in-laws to be. She just books it. Not once. Not twice, but three fucking times. She can go to hell. But luckily, the townsfolk LOVE her and put up with her quirky personality because she is just so darn lovable. And that smile? How could you say no.
Richard Gere plays this douche bag reporter, who after getting read to filth by Sela Ward, a staple of Dad hotties, he runs a story about this so called Runaway Bride. Well, Runaway Bride will have none of this and writes herself a letter to the editor, played by Rita Wilson, and gets Gere promptly fired. He deserves though. He said that she was man eater and had be a runaway bride 7 or 8 times! Well, you better check your facts or Rita Wilson will can your ass. So, now he is pissed and finds out that Runaway Bride is up to her old tricks in the the finale stages of prepping a wedding. He immediately starts stalking and intimating her, but she seems to kinda like it. This is a romantic comedy after all. Problem is she is engaged to massive HUNK Christopher Meloni. Sorry, after four attempts at getting married and this HUNK wants to still marry you, honey, you don't fuck it up.
Maggie takes out her sexual furstations out while kickboxing to the Dixie Chicks and decides to get even with Richard Gere. She enlist the help of her BFF, Joan Cusack, in a thankless role. What happens next is so shocking, that I was not able to fully recover from the film. They go to the beauty shop, which is named Curl Up and Dye. Cute, huh? Well, fuck you stupid RUNAWAY BRIDE MOVIE. You can go straight to hell. Not only did they sell this joke from Earth Girls Are Easy, they rub it in our faces. I wonder what Julie Brown or Geena Davis thought of this when they watched RB? It's a very, "HEY! Wait a goddamn minute" moment. I am pretty sure my Granny busted a gut and didn't even now it was a stolen sight gag. Maybe a homage to EGAE, but I doubt it. I was in shock for the awhile, so whatever revenge they had planned in the beauty shop by passed me. I think they dyed Gere's hair a WACKY color or some shit.
Julia Roberts continues to be a nightmare as she openly flirts with her best friend's husband at a ballgame and gets told that USS MAGGIE leaves quite a wake. HAR! One of my favorite things about RUNAWAY BRIDE is the the OVER use of one of its sponsor. Popsicle is EVER WHERE! No one actually eats one, but the signs are all over the place. She then breaks into Gere's hotel room and digs through all his papers, then escapes out the window and skirts around the building ledge and is gone! Runaway Fiance! But it seems Gere is starting to fall for Runaway Bride's charm!
So the entire town is a buzz. Is she going to run again. The groom is convinced she won't. Gere is convinced she will. The townsfolk voice their opinions during the rocka-hula luau wedding party dinner. Everyone basically reads Runaway Bride like she is an overdue library book. She kinda deserves it, but it makes everyone feel awkward. He dad even says, "She might be the town's longest running joke, but at least she is the fastest!" OH GURL!
So then, Runaway Bride yells at Richard Gere, because she thinks he is TRYING to make her run, but then they start making out in front of everyone at the rehearsal and the wedding is called off. So she didn't run, she just cancelled it the day before. BITCH, that is the same thing. We get treated to a "falling in love" montage with team Roberts/Gere that includes riding horses on the beach and acting like assholes. We are almost two hours into the movie and so far you want to runaway yourself. It seems Gere has tamed this runaway horse, but it is hard to teach a runaway bride new tricks. Can she make it down the aisle one last time or will she always be a bride, never a bridesmaid?
RUNAWAY BRIDE is none of the things that it thinks it is. It is not romantic, unless you like to watch jerk offs fall in love with each other. It isn't funny, even though Julia does her token prat fall twice and has a couple of "funny" stunts. Don't rewind the bell ringing part, because you will be sad that you actually watched it again. As I watched it, I just could not get the fact that my granny went to see this in the theater. What was she thinking? Was she on Runaway Bride's side? I do know that she didn't like Erin Brockovich though. Too much cussing for my Granny.
The two best parts of watching RUNAWAY BRIDE on VHS (which is the only way you can seem to find it in a pinch) is that they tossed that Dixie Chicks "Ready To Run" video at the end. So you get to scream, "RUN YOU DIXIE BITCHES!" as they book it from their grooms and the trailer at the beginning of the movie. If you love RUNAWAY BRIDE, you'll love....