Runaway Bride pairs Richard Gere and Julia Roberts yet again, nine years after Pretty Woman debuted. The film is rated PG, and was directed by Garry Marshall. The screenwriters, Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott, wrote a beautiful and funny film, impeccably rendered with fine acting and attention to detail.
Ike Graham (Richard Gere) is a columnist for USA Today, always the “last-minute” man, ideas for his column not striking till an hour or so before deadline. He meets a man in a bar who tells him about Maggie, a runaway bride from Hale, New York, who has jilted men at the altar 7 or 8 times.
Ike writes the column without checking the facts, and Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) is infuriated with the fabrication of her life. She gets his editor Ellie (Rita Wilson), who also just happens to be Ike’s ex-wife, to fire him.
Now out of a job, Ellie’s husband Fisher (Hector Elizondo) suggests to Ike that he write a full-length article about Maggie to redeem his reputation. Ike drives out to Hale in his Camaro convertible in search of the truth. He quickly wins over just about the entire town, and friends and family of Maggie’s eagerly tell him about Maggie’s three failed attempts to tie the knot.
Ike and Maggie, first at odds with each other, eventually feel the sparks of attraction between them. Ike couldn’t be more charming, and this is one of Richard Gere’s best romantic roles. He gets to deliver some great lines about romance, marriage proposals, and honeymoons. It is no surprise that Maggie eventually falls for him.
Maggie backs out of her 4th scheduled wedding to Bob, the football coach/athlete, and Ike and Maggie are set to be married instead. But will Maggie flee from Ike as she has the previous three grooms?
Runaway Bride is just so clever and enjoyable, the small town of Hale in autumn is brought to life in quaint detail, and there is great chemistry between all the actors. Joan Cusack delivers another fine performance as Maggie’s best friend who helps coach her to success. By the end of the film, Maggie has examined her life and why she always gets cold feet. I highly recommend it to you, and it would be a good film for teens to watch as well, as there is not a lot of language that parents would find objectionable, and I thought the messages about marriage that are delivered as Ike researches Maggie and who she is, are really priceless.