Guilty Pleasures Film Festival 2013

“Runaway Bride”

Julia Roberts in 'Runaway Bride' (Paramount/Touchstone, 1998)

Julia Roberts in ‘Runaway Bride’ (Paramount/Touchstone, 1999)

I’m a sucker for a good romantic comedy—or at least a romantic comedy with appealing stars and an interesting premise. 1999’s Runaway Bride probably fits more in the latter definition, but I still love it. Maggie (played by Julia Roberts) is a quintessential man-eater and a terminal flirt, having left a trail of broken hearted ex-boyfriends along with three ex-fiancés that she ran away from at the altar. Ike (played by Richard Gere) is a rather sexist (and, subsequently, divorced) newspaper columnist who, after writing a story about Maggie the “runaway bride,” gets fired for supposed errors in the article. In order to regain his reputation and his job, Ike goes to the small town where Maggie lives to get to the bottom of the story. I’m sure you can’t imagine what happens after that, but still it’s an interesting journey that finally brings Ike and Maggie together. Sure the film is a bit uneven, but Julia Roberts and Richard Gere have such tremendous individual charm along with great on-screen chemistry that some of the film’s weaknesses can be overlooked. The soundtrack is excellent, too (Miles Davis’ “It Never Entered My Mind” is a personal favorite). Ultimately, the film to me is more of a treatise about understanding the ripple effect of your actions and about the importance of learning what you really want out of love and of life. Also stars Joan Cusack, Paul Dooley, Hector Elizando, Rita Wilson, and Christopher Meloni. Written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott. Directed by Garry Marshall. “He wanted to know how you liked your eggs.”

Thanks for reading the blog this year and for indulging me in a few of my cinematic guilty pleasures. See you at the movies in 2014!