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Runaway Bride

List Price: Unknown [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Aaron Beierle | posted January 24, 2000 | E-mail the Author
In Short: Wonderful image quality and a hilarious commentary.

The Movie:

Some may argue that this is a pre-packaged "product" of a movie. They'd be right. "Runaway Bride" is simply the team who made "Pretty Woman" getting back together about 10 years later. That's the "angle"- see Roberts and Gere back together again. The film works suprisingly well due to goregous cinematography and production values capturing a suprising amount of chemistry still apparent between the two leads nearly 10 years later. Although it doesn't work quite as well as Robert's "Notting Hill"(which had it's share of faults as well), "Runaway Bride" is still entertaining fare.

Roberts plays Maggie Carpenter, a woman famous in her small town of Hale, Maryland for leaving three men at the altar at the last moment. Gere plays Ike Graham, who writes a rather anti-female column for USA Today, who's about to feature Maggie in his next article. Furious, Maggie writes a letter to the editor which results in Ike being fired. Offered to write the tale for GQ magazine, Ike sets out to push himself into Maggie's life and save his career.

Ike makes friends in the small town quickly, gaining allies to the horror of Maggie, who would like nothing else but to see him leave quickly as possible. But, as we all can predict, the two are meant for each other and during Ike's stay, the two will warm to each other. Roberts is winning and charming in the role as expected, but Gere really suprised me with the sort of sarcastic, energetic energy he brings to the role of Ike. Both definitely have great moments of dialogue and perform quite well. The supporting cast's main asset is Joan Cusack, very funny as Maggie's longtime friend.

It's silly, yes. At times, it's a little unreal. But, similar to "Never Been Kissed" earlier this year, the performances and dialogue are so enjoyable that I was taken through the trouble spots. The only thing that I really found at fault beyond a few goofy lines of dialogue was that this film could have easily been trimmed around 15 minutes or so, which would have helped the pace, which does get a little slow at times. All in all, I enjoyed "Runaway Bride". It's not perfect, but it certainly serves it's purpose well. It's light entertainment with involving performances and more often than not, it works.

The DVD

VIDEO: Wow. When Paramount does nice work, they really do nice work. Ever since they started doing anamorphic transfers, they've been improving more and more each and every time out. Images are sharp, clear and very well defined throughout, especially in the New York scenes. The country scenes look warm and smooth, with rich and beautiful colors that look fantastic on DVD. Detail is excellent throughout the movie and flesh tones are natural as well. There is a wonderfully "film-like" feel throughout, with a clean picture that only has a few very minor flaws. There is a slight bit of shimmer, but it's few and far between and hardly noticable. This is a pleasure to watch throughout and a really fine job by Paramount.

SOUND: Not too terribly exciting. There is very minimal use of the surrounds and like many comedies (and especially romantic comedies), the main highlight of the audio is the music, which sounds really quite fine here, well-recorded and clear. Dialogue is also without problem, easily understood throughout.

MENUS:: Basic menu art based on the cover art. Nothing interesting.

EXTRAS:.

Commentary: An incredibly funny and charming commentary by director Gary Marshall. After a long string of dull and dry commentaries lately, the fact that Marshall is energetic and hilarious in sharing his comments is really appreciated. Marshall mainly talks about general comments on his views for the process of filmmaking. There really isn't too much in the way of technical information given, but it's mostly just Marshall joking about making movies and telling plenty of stories about what happened on the set.

There are some slight pauses throughout the commentary, but all in all, Marshall's commentary is still informative and entertaining, so I wasn't distracted too much. I especially liked listening to Marshall talk about the story and the actors - he talks about the story without simply just stating what's on-screen and he talks nicely about the actors without spending what seems like hours saying that they "are soooooo gooooood in this movie" like some directors do. A particularly hilarious moment is when the director talks about a scene where the car breaks down - he states sarcastically, "Wow! Boy and girl together when the car breaks down, what a new idea!" To sum it up - you may not learn tons about the technical details of filmmaking, but you'll laugh quite a few times during this commentary and it's certainly one of the most entertaining I've heard in quite a while, even more entertaining than some movies I've watched lately. After listening to this, I've decided I have to listen to his commentary on "Pretty Woman" soon.

Also: Theatrical trailer and Dixie Chicks music video.

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