Runaway Bride

Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack

Directed by Garry Marshall
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 0
Community: star rating
5 0 0
July 30, 1999

If you want a dead-on example of what critics mean when they call a film "product," as opposed to, say, "entertainment" or – we should be so lucky – "art," check out Runaway Bride. This puppy comes prepackaged, market-tested, dolled-up as shiny as shrink-wrap and priced to sell. Remember in Pretty Woman when the hooker played by Julia Roberts turned to her wealthy john (Richard Gere) and said, "I'm a sure thing"? That's Runaway Bride.

Is Bride as good as Pretty Woman? Trick question. That tarnished Cinderella fable was the first big hit of the Nineties. But some critics, myself included, choked on the film's unbridled zest for consumerism. What saved the day was Roberts' star turn, her deft teamwork with Gere and the way the director, Garry Marshall, delighted in letting the supporting players – Hector Elizondo's hotel manager, Larry Miller's unctuous salesman – steal a few scenes.

All of the above have reunited for Runaway Bride. And none of that slutty stuff for this PG-rated bonbon. As Maggie Carpenter, a small-town Maryland girl, Roberts is selling hardware, not giving head. Maggie's one fault is her habit of getting engaged to men she dumps at the altar. The fact that she's about to have a fourth go, this time with Coach Bob (Christopher Meloni), excites the tabloid heart of New York reporter Ike Graham (Gere). This feminist-baiter hits town to watch Maggie run again, only to – what else? – fall in love with her himself. It's a sitcom plot, loaded with sitcom jokes (an old lady gushes about Ike's "tight butt") and directed by sitcom shtick master Marshall. Roberts rides above it all with her usual smiling radiance, and it helps having the great Joan Cusack around as her best pal. Gere exudes rumpled charm, which helps when the same old lady starts hyperventilating about the bride's fear of the "one-eyed snake." For the real deal in romantic comedy, stick with Roberts and Hugh Grant in Notting Hill. It's about feeling, not product.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »