Live to bride
Some chick flicks just can't wait to bare their claws. They're so quick to the catfight, they don't take time to develop the contenders, or don't bother to make them characters we'd care to spend 90 minutes with in the first place.
The first sign of something different from Bride Wars is the establishment of Anne Hathaway's Emma and Kate Hudson's Liv as genuine BFFs. Inseparable since childhood, they've developed an adult relationship of mutual support and affection, and both have harbored a long-shared goal of June weddings at the Plaza.
A coincidental timing of proposals by their respective boyfriends, a joint meeting with powerhouse wedding planner Candice Bergen and one clerical screw-up later, both ladies are scheduled to wed at the Plaza on the same day.
When it's clear that neither will budge, two things become central to both brides-to-be's plans: sabotage and compromise. The sabotage leads to some nasty fun without getting off-puttingly ugly; the compromise adds more substance, plus scene-stealing exposure for supporting player Kristen Johnson.
While Bride Wars may not be entirely contrivance-free, and a sexy dance-off between the co-stars feels inserted expressly for all the guys who were dragged to the movie by a date, it's nice to sense a brain and some meat under its Vera Wang gown.