Thursday, July 30, 2009

Movies that Should have been Workshopped: Bride Wars

Movies that Should Have Been Work-shopped:

Work-shopping is when a piece of creative material is brought before a group of peers. In regards to fiction workshops, these groups read through each other’s stories to identify strengths and weaknesses in plot and character, and to make sure everything makes sense and make sure everything jives throughout the piece. It’s very easy as a writer to read right past things that are lacking, because you know them in your head and you forget that your audience is not, in fact, in your head, and they do not know what you know. The workshop process allows you to see what the reader doesn’t know. I’ve discovered, however, that not all creative pieces, be they works of fiction, or films, and to make sure everything is being used to its potential.

Bride Wars:

One film that I think really had aspects that were not used to their advantage is the recent film Bride Wars. In this film, Liv (played by Kate Hudson) and Emma (played by Anne Hathaway) play best friends who share a dream of getting married at the Plaza Hotel in June. Their plans go awry when their weddings are accidentally scheduled on the same day.

Their mothers are very influential in their futures plans because they are with their mothers that they see a wedding at the plaza, which sparked their dreams. They spend their girlhood planning their weddings based on this event. Then, at some point between this first wedding, and their own engagements, Liv’s parents die.

There is little discussion of how her parents die (though for some reason I’m thinking car accident) or how long ago it was (according to wikipedia it was when she was a child) or how it really affected her, though based on her reactions to it now it seems to have strongly affected her.

Liv’s character is that of a Type A personality lawyer, and there are certain clues that part of the reason she needs so much control over things is because of losing her parents, but this is never really explored, and a wedding planning setting is the perfect place to explore this aspect of her life because a wedding is such a family centered event and the lack of both parents would deeply impact the way she handles it. It is glossed over. For all that it is discussed, it probably would have been better for them to eliminate the aspect all together, and not complicate things.

I get the feeling a little that there was supposed to be more about this in the film, but that it got cut in the editing process. My thought, however, is that the film was only an hour and a half long, so there wasn’t really any reason to cut that out for time reasons.

One of the aspects of the film that some people might feel should have been done differently, is that there are several times where the action is not en scene, but instead comes to the audience through snapshots with voice over from the narrator. I found this to be a really creative way to cover certain important scenes that go with wedding planning, but that won’t necessarily give the story enough to justify them taking up time en scene. They were all things that could have been cut out entirely, but by including them as snap shots it gave the narrator a little time to speak, and it showed the audience something that they would not have otherwise seen.

Over all I really liked this movie, even though there were things that could have been changed and it didn’t do well with the critics. I thought it did a nice job of storytelling and it wasn’t horrible for a chick flick, which was what it was.

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