Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday July 28, 2020 


New York columnist Ike Graham (Richard Gere), is fired by his editor (and ex-wife) Ellie (Rita Wilson), who is now remarried to Fisher (Hector Elizondo), after a libelous column about a small-town girl, Maggie (Julia Roberts), who runs from her weddings (last count, three) as soon as she sights the altar. When, with nothing better to do and the chance of a story in a magazine Fisher's working for, he goes to rural Maryland to verify his piece by getting the inside story, witnessing Maggie's next planned wedding, this time to Bob (Christopher Meloni). He makes good progress with the story until she touches his heart.

"Lightweight romantic comedy though it might be, Runaway Bride is nonetheless a delightful return of the Pretty Woman team. On DVD in your home, there are fewer expectations and more time to enjoy the kooky characters and classic moments. Its charm lies in the sincerity of the characters; the cynical climate of New York is contrasted by the warmth and genuine simplicity of that displayed by a small country town.

The closer you look, the more piquant the humour, and the delight for me is that it comes from every day life. 'When I only see one dog I know I've had too much to drink' laments Maggie's dad, while Grandma is concentrating so hard on her needlework, she doesn't notice she is attaching herself to the sleeve of visiting journalist Ike. Like Ike, we meet the characters through cynical eyes, but it's not before long that we do an about turn and look at ourselves - perhaps that's the funniest part.

The main pleasures of Runaway Bride lie in its delicious performances. But it's not only Julia Roberts and Richard Gere who deliver, it's the many character roles that stand out - Joan Cusack and Paul Dooley steal every scene, and the smaller cameo roles stand tall in our memories. The film itself - in its widescreen format with crisp picture and sound - is the star attraction: it's easy to navigate through the 21 chapters and choice of languages in both audio and subtitles. Sure, it's contrived, and has Hollywood stamped all over it, but it's filled with appeal and will prove a sure fire hit on your DVD shelves at home."
Louise Keller


We gratefully acknowledge the complimentary use of a DVD player from Philips.


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CAST: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack, Hector Elizondo, Rita Wilson, Paul Dooley

DIRECTOR: Garry Marshall

RUNNING TIME: 112 minutes

DVD Distributor: Warner Home Video

DVD RELEASE: April, 2000


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