Movie Review: Runaway Bride


I was in Berlin, Maryland yesterday, stopping for some antiquing on the way back from my weekend in Ocean City with some of my BFFs.  In the gigantic and delightful Town & Country Antiques, I noticed a placard reading “Please excuse our appearance and name change. We have been dressed to appear in the Paramount Pictures film Runaway Bride.“  It was surrounded by yellowed news clippings about the movie, the filming, it’s premier in Berlin, it’s release on video.  This was clearly the most exciting thing to happen to Berlin, MD in a really long time.

I’m not judging.  I am currently living the experience of a big movie coming through town, as the next Batman movie films around Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh almost always has a movie shoot going on, because Pennsylvania has mad tax credits.  But this is probably the “biggest” movie to film here during my tenure as a Pittsburgher, and as such Batman filming is consistently in the top 3 small talk/Facebook status topics for city residents.  Even in this much bigger city with more than two bars.  Having a movie film in your town is one of those things that turns everyone into a huge dork.  [But seriously, how cool is it that the detour around last week's filming was the same road I have been calling the "Batcave route" for years now?  Answer: super cool.]

ANYWAY:  Runaway Bride is not just a happy memory for Beriln, MD, but a wedding movie.  “How have you not reviewed Runaway Bride yet?” Lexi asked after I pointed out we were at its filming location. I told her “Because I only have one thing to say about the movie.”

That one thing? Eggs Benedict is not a “kind of eggs.”  It is an egg dish made with POACHED eggs. Poached eggs are a kind of eggs. Eggs Benedict is not.

This factual error tarnishes a crucial plot point in Runaway Bride.  In his journalistic investigation of Julia Robert’s serial-jilter Maggie Carpenter, Richard Gere’s Ike Graham discovers that each of Maggie’s scorned fiance’s have a different answer for “How does Maggie like her eggs?”  Because they all think she likes her eggs whatever way they do.  The egg thing is a window into Maggie’s broken psyche: she only agrees to marry these guys because she sees them as a chance to define herself, which she’s been afraid to do on her own terms because her mom died when she was in the midst of self-discovery at college.  So she backs down at the last minute because whoever she’s pretending to be for the sake of her latest fiance isn’t who she really is.  That isn’t really how she likes her eggs. And then she tries every kind of eggs and reports to Ike that she likes Eggs Benedict the best and that is why he should give her another chance to marry him even though she (spoiler non-alert) has already left him at the altar once.

IKE!  Don’t listen to her!  Remember that the man who clued you in to Maggie’s story the first time, Jilted Finace Number Three, said that Maggie likes her eggs “Poached, just like me.”  And now she’s telling you she loves eggs benedict and hates every other kind of eggs?  EGGS BENEDICT HAS POACHED EGGS IN IT.  She’s either a liar, an idiot, or my guess: both!

If you think it is unfair that I hate this movie just because someone didn’t fact check the recipe for Eggs Benedict, rest easy knowing I also hate it  for several other reasons.  I hate it because Richard Gere has beady little eyes and plays a character established as cartoonishly sexist who doesn’t learn anything about himself over the course of the movie, so let’s just assume the movie approves wholeheartedly of his chauvinism. I hate it because Maggie falls for Ike for no apparent reason other than “these actors fell in love in Pretty Woman and that made a ton of money!” There’s even a timeline-confounding montage of them doing cutesey things in the DAY AND A HALF between their first kiss (at the ceremony rehearsal for Maggie’s wedding to another groom, which should probably make everyone feel a little better about how their own rehearsal went down) and their fist attempt at a wedding, but I remain unconvinced by their attraction.  I hate this movie because it creepily glorifies Small Town, USA as a place where everyone is white and unmarried women are treated as a public good and don’t you miss those good old days?  And I hate this movie because it criminally underutilizes Joan Cusack!

But mostly I hate Runaway Bride because Eggs Benedict is not a kind of eggs.



  1. You are so right that eggs benedict is not a kind of eggs! And also that there is criminal underutilization of Joan Cusack. I watched this movie for the first time when I was too young to know any better, so I don’t get too outraged when I see it playing on TV, but yes, weirdly compressed timeline, the old romcom problem of not knowing why these people fall in love with each other, and also, it’s hard not to sympathize with the wedding dress shop owner who wants to point Maggie towards a cheaper dress for her 4th wedding dress.

  2. i avoid all movies with the word “bride” or “wedding” in the title. as a rule.

    it’s a rule that’s served me well.

Leave a Reply to liz Cancel reply

Required fields are marked *.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.