Lack of chemistry between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts lets the air out of this souffle about a fleet-footed girl who can't say "I do" and the man who lassos her heart. Cynical New York newspaper columnist Ike Graham (Gere) gets inspired by a barroom anecdote about a bride who keeps leaving bewildered grooms at the altar, and pens a bitter rant about man-eating women. Maggie Carpenter (Roberts), the "Runaway Bride" herself, dashes off a furious letter to the editor, denouncing the piece as both mean-spirited and filled with factual errors. Ike gets canned (unlike several real-life columnists caught in the same ethical net) and decides to prove that Maggie's every bit as bad as he wrote. He hustles down to her little hometown, Hale, MD, and bamboozles her family, her friends and even her new fiance with his slick city charm. His plan is to
write a magazine article capped by her fourth wedding. He's betting, of course, that she'll head for the hills again, but he doesn't foresee falling under her spell himself. Though it's not a sequel, this over-long romantic comedy reunites the stars and director of PRETTY WOMAN. Clearly everyone involved is hoping lightning will strike twice. But it doesn't. Gere's air of self-satisfaction is off-putting, and the once fresh-faced Roberts (Oscar nominated for PRETTY WOMAN) has matured into a tense, wary screen presence; only when she unleashes her radiant smile do you remember what made her a star in the first place. Though the classic romantic comedies of the '30s seem to be this movie's model, sitcom veteran Garry Marshall doesn't capture what makes those films click. He siphons off much of BRIDE's energy into goofy laughs about small-town ways and gags involving potty-mouthed old dears. The overall effect is dispiriting rather than effervescent.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: PG
- Review: Lack of chemistry between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts lets the air out of this souffle about a fleet-footed girl who can't say "I do" and the man who lassos her heart. Cynical New York newspaper columnist Ike Graham (Gere) gets inspired by a barroom ane… (more)