Starring Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway. Directed by Gary Winick. Released by 20th Century Fox. $29.95; blu-ray $39.95 * (1 star)
Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway are two of the most appealing actresses working today: beautiful, smart, talented, endearing. How did they ever get mixed up in a piece of dreck like this?
Liv (Hudson) and Emma (Hathaway) are lifelong friends at first thrilled they're both getting married at roughly the same time. But both dream of getting married at New York's Plaza Hotel, and when there's only one date available and both get booked for it (Candice Bergen plays the unfortunate wedding planner) ... well, friendships just aren't what they used to be. Both women do their best to sabotage the other's wedding, and the laugh riot ensues.
Crass and just plain dumb, with a conceit that's nothing but a bunch of tired old comedic cliches about women and weddings and the insanity that seems to dominate when the two mix, Bride Wars is the kind of "comedy" that can only come from the most cynical of minds. Beautiful women tearing and clawing at each other, both physically and mentally, equals laughs every time, right?
Not here they don't.
Also out today: In The Realm of the Senses (Criterion, $39.95): Japanese director Nagisa Oshima's controversial take on sexual obsession remains startling, even 33 years after its initial release. Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda are lovers whose passion overwhelms everything else. In the Realm of the Senses (Ai No Corrida), like Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris four years earlier, remains an experience as polarizing - love it or hate it, there's little middle ground - as it is exhilarating.
Other releases: Frost/Nixon: Complete Interviews (Liberation Entertainment, $39.95) offers the genuine 1977 TV event on which the hit movie was based; America's favorite Depression-era family is comprehensively revisited in The Waltons: The Complete Seasons 1-9 (Warner Home Video, $275.95); that wascally wabbit takes center stage, ably assisted by Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam and others, in 1981's The Looney, Looney, Looney Bugs Bunny Movie (Warner Home Video, $14.95).