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(For Day 19 of NaPoWriMo, the prompt was to write a humorous rant, and I figure that a groom left at the altar would have plenty to rant about.)

You didn’t want to marry me.
I get that; I accept it.
It’s not a secret now, but I
Wish I knew why you kept it.

To wait until the chapel doors,
Complete with gown and veil,
And then to say “No way, Jose”
And just abruptly bail?

We’d paid the finest florist,
(That alone, I may not mind it),
But I’d reserved a limousine
With cans to trail behind it.

We paid the band and baker,
Had a cake of twenty tiers;
They said it was the biggest crowd
The church had seen in years.

Not once when we were dating
Did I think you were a phony.
So why was it so difficult
Embracing matrimony?

I’ve been humiliated
By your gamophobic smack.
I only have one thing to say…
Will you please take me back?!

MPA rating:  PG

Runaway Bride could be seen as the less prestigious sibling of Pretty Woman, both being directed by Garry Marshall and teaming Richard Gere and Julia Roberts, as well as Héctor Elizondo. Yet Pretty Woman has an R-rated edge to it, while Runaway Bride is closer to Hallmark territory, a predictable but wholly likable romantic comedy set in an idyllic small town. In this one, Roberts plays Maggie Carpenter, who grows semi-famous for leaving men at the altar and becomes the story subject for Ike Graham, a disgraced columnist eager to cover how her engagement with her latest boyfriend (Christopher Meloni) will go.

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Runaway Bride is the kind of comfortable rom-com that I tend to like, even if it’s completely by-the-numbers with the two leads initially despising each other and gradually increasing their chemistry. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, though, and this still has a much stronger script and acting compared with the average Hallmark movie. While I loved Julia Roberts’ effortless charm here, I found myself a little frustrated at times with Maggie’s cold-feet behavior, explained away with needing to “find herself,” and how she treats her ex-suitors, but ultimately her growth and eventual happy ending still make for a pleasant watch and welcome chuckles. Critics would disagree, but I think I’m more partial to this lighter follow-up than to Pretty Woman, but maybe that’s just me. I’m tempted to make it List-Worthy and perhaps will bump it up with future viewings, but it’s certainly close.

Best line: (Peggy Fleming, Maggie’s friend) “Have you heard my husband’s morning show, Wake Up With Flem?”
(Ike, in response to her friend’s mocking Maggie’s past) “A toast to, uh, to Maggie’s family and friends. May you find yourselves the bulls-eye of an easy target. May you be publicly flogged for all of your bad choices. And may your noses be rubbed in all of your mistakes.”

Rank:  List Runner-Up

© 2021 S.G. Liput
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