'Bride Wars' Gets Horrid Reviews

Mark Jordan Legan runs through reviews of the latest films. There's the romantic comedy Bride Wars starring Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway, which has been called the worst film of the new year. There's the horror flick, The Unborn and there's Not Easily Broken, a romance with spiritual themes.

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ALEX COHEN, host:

This is Day to Day from NPR News. I'm Alex Cohen.

NOAH ADAMS, host:

And I'm Noah Adams. January can be a bit of a dumping ground for the motion-pictures studios. So, to tell us whether there are any gems left amongst the junk, here is Mark Jordan Legan with Slate's Summary Judgment.

MARK JORDAN LEGAN: David S. Goyer, the writer of "Batman Begins" and the "Blade" trilogy, tries his hand as a writer and director with the horror film, "The Unborn." A young woman discovers she is possessed by a spirit because of a secret family curse dating back to Nazi Germany. Now, if that doesn't sound trippy enough, be warned: Gary Oldman plays a rabbi who is asked to perform an exorcism. Now, I'm scared.

(Soundbite of movie "The Unborn")

Ms. ODETTE YUSTMAN: (As Casey Beldon) What are you doing, Matty?

Mr. ATTICUS SHAFFER: (As Matty Newton) (Whispering) Keep looking, keep looking.

Ms. YUSTMAN: (As Casey Beldon) (Whispering) Matty. Matty, stop that. You have to go to bed now.

(Soundbite of crash)

Ms. YUSTMAN: (As Casey Beldon) Ugh!

Mr. SHAFFER: (As Matty Newton) He wants to be born now.

LEGAN: "The Unborn" will get no baby shower from the critics. Even though the Village Voice promises, "as long as it forges ahead without explanations, 'The Unborn' works;" the Los Angeles Times yawns, "the movie is something of a snooze;" and the New York Daily News calls it "silly;" "what 'The Exorcist' might look like if Madonna re-wrote it."

Now a serious drama, "Not Easily Broken" tackles the issues of marriage and divorce, as a young, successful couple debate staying together after some serious financial, emotional and spiritual setbacks. Morris Chestnut stars.

(Soundbite of movie "Not Easily Broken")

Ms. JENIFER LEWIS: (As Mary "Mama" Clark) He'd been living high on the hog, leaching off your money for years. She more of a man than you'll ever be.

Mr. MORRIS CHESTNUT: (As Dave Johnson) So, you're just going to stand there and let her say that to me? Clarice, you are just going to stand there and let her say that to me. Well, then, you're right. It is time for me to get out of here.

LEGAN: The majority of critics felt like getting out of here as well. The Chicago Tribune enjoyed it, finding it "likable and heart-felt," but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer dismisses "Not Easily Broken" as "too preachy." And many agreed with the New York Post, which sighed, "bland and tiresome."

Now, the opposite of bland and tiresome should be two best friends battling over a wedding date, right? Yep. The comedy "Bride Wars" is opening in wide release, and Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway both want to get married at the Plaza, but because of a clerical error and possibly a studio note, only one of them can fulfill their dreams.

(Soundbite of movie "Bride Wars")

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. BRYAN GREENBERG: (As Nate) It's crazy; they haven't spoken for, like, a week. That's like a century in girls' years.

Ms. KATE HUDSON: (As Liv) You sent out your save-the-dates?

Ms. ANNE HATHAWAY: (As Emma) Surprised?

Ms. HUDSON: (As Liv) Your wedding better watch it. If I were your wedding, I'll be sleeping with one eye open.

LEGAN: Well, most of the nation's critics were left with no eyes open; they hated this movie. Variety snaps, "a shrill, mechanical comedy;" the Washington Post sobs, "predictable, lazy and thoroughly joyless;" but the true wedding gift comes from Rolling Stone, which toasts, "The first big-studio movie released in 2009 has a damn fine chance of being the worst. It isn't just chick-flick hell for guys; it should numb the skulls of moviegoers of all sexes and ages."

Ugh. Watch it still make money at the box office. You know, but if the studio had really wanted some crossover appeal? Take that title, "Bride Wars," but what if the brides were killer robots, huh? Eh.

ADAMS: Mark Jordan Legan is a writer living in Los Angeles.

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