RUNAWAY BRIDE (1999)

Runaway-Bride-1999

Christopher

I remember watching this movie multiple times as a kid because my sister had the VHS and I feel like she watched it a lot. So maybe I just watched it once and it was on a lot in the background. However, I completely forgot, or didn’t get at first, that Richard Gere is a terrible person in this movie and there is absolutely no reason that his character and Julia Roberts’ character could fall in love. The whole movie I was excited to see how that would happen but it just kind of happened? Like all adults are mean to each other until that moment where they realize their hate is actually love? I’m not sure, it’s really fucking confusing.

ALSO and this I really didn’t remember but most of the movie takes place in Baltimore and they mention the Orioles!

Elizabeth

I’m pretty sure I have a VHS copy of Runaway Bride in my old room at my mom’s house right now. It was never a movie I super loved, but it always felt very pleasant and enjoyable to me (especially compared to Pretty Woman). It came out when I was in elementary school and I’m not really sure when the last time I had seen this was (maybe early college?) but whenever I did see it again, I remember thinking that Maggie (Julia Roberts) was kind of a jerk, considering her biggest character trait is leaving men at the altar. But watching it again, I see there is a villain here and it is Ike, played by Richard Gere.

So Ike is a journalist from New York of some kind, with apparently nothing to write about, until he hears about Maggie from a drunk guy in a bar. Even though Ike doesn’t follow up on any sources, doesn’t know Maggie, doesn’t even live in the same city as Maggie . . . he uses Maggie’s story of leaving behind three different men at the altar as a platform for his anti-female column. It’s craaaaazy how misogynistic this column is, especially considering Ike is supposed to be somewhat charming. Luckily his boss, Ellie (Rita Wilson), fires Ike for his lack of journalism abilities, which Ike immediately blames on the fact that Ellie is his ex-wife, despite the fact that they’re amicable co-workers and she’s happily remarried. WOMEN!!!

In order to save face somehow, Ike decides to go to Maryland where Maggie lives and is engaged once again to do a story about her. From there he essentially stalks her and talks to all of her exes without her, as if that will give him some kind of unbiased perspective. But the issue here is that Ike doesn’t want an unbiased perspective. He wants everyone to agree with him, that women are manipulative bitches who will step on anyone who gets in their way. It would be hard to find a group more perfect for that than a group of men all dumped by the same woman. So Ike goes around fucking with everyone in Maggie’s life, including her alcoholic father, until finally Maggie decides to work with Ike so that she has a say in how he portrays her. This gives Ike an opportunity to tell Maggie a fucking dumb, hypothetical marriage proposal he thinks is perfect:

Look, I guarantee there’ll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don’t ask you to be mine, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you’re the only one for me.

Gross, especially coming from a huge asshole that hates women like Ike. But, naturally, this is all it takes for Maggie to fall in love with Ike and because Maggie is beautiful and quirky, Ike just naturally falls in love with her, too, despite the fact that he met her in the first place because she keeps leaving men. Maggie and Ike then have the great idea to use Maggie’s wedding – less than a week away – for the two of them, rather than Maggie and her original guy. Because nothing says Happily Ever After like two people hating each other, falling in love, and getting married, all within about two weeks. You already know the rest: Maggie leaves Ike at the altar, some time passes, they get married for real.

It’s just so bizarre to me that we’re supposed to look past how insane and awful Ike is, and not just that, but also think he’s charming and caring the whole time. What? Maggie’s not great, either, but at least her character doesn’t actively go around hating people. I don’t think there will ever be a need for a third Julie Roberts-Richard Gere movie, but if there is it would be nice if their characters were actually equal and remotely on the same page.

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