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Runaway Bride Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 2.0

    out of 100

    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    A clumsy motion picture that strives so hard for the perfect romantic ending that it triggers a gag reflex along the way.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    After seeing Gere and Roberts play much smarter people (even in romantic comedies), it is painful to see them dumbed down here. The screenplay is so sluggish, they're like Derby winners made to carry extra weight.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    A shiny bauble full of dead weight, gloppy good feeling and airless cliches. And every time you try to grab onto "Bride's" characters, they run away. [30 July 1999]

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    The difference between "Pretty Woman" and Runaway Bride is that we can no longer buy Roberts in her tearful romantic-melancholy mode. It seems vaguely patronizing now.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    The movie-calendar equivalent of last July's "Six Days, Seven Nights," this star-powered romance overcomes a shaky start to outpace that passable confection by several runaway laps.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Cute romantic comedy OK for most older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the comedy Runaway Bride is fairy-tale light and will appeal to tweens and teens, as well as adults who like their romance on the fantasy side rather than dealing with real, flawed people and thorny situations. Even the trickiest problems are easily resolved, and, of course, everyone lives happily ever after. One punch is thrown; a character is an alcoholic (without the usual drama associated with that addiction); and there are a few off-color terms sprinkled throughout (such as "schmuck," "asshole," "pain in the ass"). There's little on-camera sexuality except for some romantic kissing and the implication that the characters are, and have been, sexually active. A few skimpy costumes are worn at a Hawaiian luau, and one T-shirt clearly reads: "Mountaineers do it against the wall." Lots of clear product placement.

  • Families can talk about the importance of being a mature person yourself before you are capable of making a commitment to anyone else.
  • Hoe does Runaway Bride compare with other Julia Roberts movies you've seen?
  • How does this movie stack up against other romantic comedies?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: Encourages being aware of behavior that may hurt other people. Promotes the idea that individuality should strengthen a relationship; having "a mind of your own" is better than abandoning personal likes and opinions to make someone else happy.   

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Main characters are hard workers, good friends, tolerant of others, and generous. They learn important lessons about love, honesty, and self-awareness. Small-town life is depicted as idyllic, safe, and community-oriented. Big-city life is characterized by noise, shallow relationships, ambition, and materialism.

What to watch for
  • violence false1

    Violence: One punch is thrown.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Plenty of romantic kisses. Also: some responsibly sexually active adults.

  • language false2

    Language: Occasional swearing and insults: "virgin," "whore," "pain in the ass," "schmuck," "screwed-up," "a--hole," "hell," "one-eyed snake."

  • consumerism false4

    Consumerism: Some references in dialogue, others are visual: Budweiser, Michelob, USA TODAY, Busch, RCA, GQ Magazine, Redken, Pepsi, Fed-Ex, Everlast  boxing equipment, UTZ snacks, Kenra hair products, and some local New York shops and restaurants. 

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Social drinking in several settings: in a bar, restaurant, at a luau, at home, at a neighborhood baseball game. The father of the bride is revealed to be an alcoholic and shown with a drink in his hand on multiple occasions; at one time he is very drunk and needs his daughter's assistance before passing out in her car.