Stars: Joan Cusack, Paul Dooley, Hector Elizondo, Richard Gere, Julia Roberts
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 116 minutes
It took nearly a decade to find a mutually agreeable screenplay, but the stars and director of Pretty Woman finally reunited to make Runaway Bride, wisely avoiding any attempt to recapture the 1990 film's elusive magic. The result is a perfectly pleasant romantic comedy that would've fared better critically (despite boffo box office) if it hadn't been overshadowed by its blockbuster predecessor. It's certainly a more credible film than Pretty Woman, trading a far-fetched fairy tale (hooker hooks up with tycoon? bah!) for a more amiably conventional plot about big-city reporter Ike Graham (Richard Gere) who falls for a small-town handywoman Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) with a nasty habit of fleeing from the altar in a recurring state of premarital panic. Both characters are instantly likable, and the smooth dialogue by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott only occasionally panders to sitcom cuteness. And despite his routine sacrifice of subtle craft for commercial appeal, director Garry Marshall knows when to trust his stars and material, lending this movie a casual charm (aided by a terrific supporting cast) that never feels forced or artificial. The whole thing's utterly predictable, riding on the suspenseless question of whether Maggie will dump her sports-nut fiancé (Christopher Meloni) and tie the knot with Ike. It's a foregone conclusion after the usual games of romantic cat and mouse, but the chemistry between Roberts and Gere is undeniable, and with a decade's worth of additional stardom between them, they shine as brightly as ever. --Jeff Shannon
Bless me Father for I have sinned. My last confession was... well. Anyway, I have sorta a technical question. I've been having bad thoughts, really bad thoughts.
Of an impure nature?
No, No, I want to destroy this man's life, career everything. I want revenge. Now on a sins scale how bad is that? Can I Hail Mary my way out of that?
I love Eggs Benedict, I hate every other kind. I hate big weddings with everybody staring. I'd like to get married on a weekday while everybody's at work. And when I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.
Should I be writing this down?