Starring: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack
Director: Garry Marshall
Running Time: 116 mins
Runaway Bride is an American film about a New York journalist who, after losing his job for writing a defamatory report about a woman with a reputation for leaving her fiancés at the altar, goes to meet the woman in person, to see whether she really does have a love for ditching her own weddings.
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts will always be famous for their starring roles in Pretty Woman, but Runaway Bride isn’t all too far away from that romantic comedy classic. While it arguably lacks the sweeping elegance of the modern My Fair Lady, Runaway Bride is an entertainingly hectic rom-com that makes up for its less-than-charming love story with a good deal of laughs throughout.
Now, let’s start with the leading pair, who strike up some great chemistry once again. Playing two people locked in a love-hate relationship for most of the story, this will-they-won’t-they romance is more enjoyably predictable than it is emotionally captivating, but that plays in nicely to Runaway Bride’s often chaotic sense of fun.
Initially, it’s just a bit weird how intensely Richard Gere pursues Julia Roberts after his dismissal for writing a slanderous article about her, bordering on the stalker-y more than anything. However, as we learn more about both characters, and most importantly both of their flaws, the story begins to endear itself to you in rather delightful fashion.
The love-hate dynamic between the pair is reminiscent of the enjoyable to-and-fro in You’ve Got Mail, and it takes the simple rom-com path to the finish that you’d expect. Saying that, however, Runaway Bride at least has a bit of fun along the way, with a lot of laughs and moments of delightful chaos.
Beyond the overarching romance, the central plot about Roberts’ character having a supposed obsession for leaving men at the altar creates an entertaining unease around all of her latest wedding plans. Couple that with the introduction of Gere into the mix, and you have a story that could explode into chaos at any moment, and it does on more than one occasion.
That’s more than enough to make you chuckle here and there, and with Roberts and Gere’s delightful onscreen charisma throughout, Runaway Bride is an undoubtedly fun, fluffy and easy-going watch. It’s not the most elegant love story ever told, but you’ll have a good time all the same, so that’s why I’m giving Runaway Bride a 7.5 overall.