In which Jesse Hassenger comes to wonder who could possibly want to see movies like this (a question many of us have been asking for years).
One of the more endearing quirks of movie studio release schedules is how imitative they are — it's mostly marketing and unimaginative thinking, of course, but sometimes studios start little unofficial traditions beyond just releasing Spider-Man movies on the first weekend in May. A recent Entertainment Weekly piece on Meryl Streep, for example, pointed out that following the summer successes of The Devil Wears Prada and Mamma Mia! her next mainstream movie, Julie and Julia, has been penciled into an August 2009 release (no word on whether it will continue the tradition of being lousy). I guess the idea is that moviegoers will recall the pleasurable experience of watching a certain type of movie at a certain type of year, and will be more likely to get the Meryl Streep itch when the weather is warm, or something.
This seems to be the thinking behind the release of Bride Wars, coming January 9th in the tradition of last year's wedding-themed January rom-com 27 Dresses. I'm not saying this movie looks particularly classy, at all (in fact, more on that in a moment), but it does star Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson, the sum of which I think we can all agree is greater than or equal to Katherine Heigl (for Anne's Oscar chances, let's hope "greater than"). Normally this seems like the type of movie that gets released in, say, February, or maybe September. Hell, with Hathaway coming off of several popular hits and some critical acclaim, summer wouldn't be out of the question.
But Bride Wars is treading into January, once the province of wide releases about either people (mostly teenagers) getting murdered by ghosts and/or humans, or people (mostly teenagers) engaging in some kind of all-important competitive dancing, and oh my lord, why has no one made a movie that combines slashing and dancing yet, note to self: sell that movie and get really rich.
Until that happens, let's think some more about Bride Wars.