Film: Runaway Bride

A 1999 Romantic Comedy directed by Garry Marshall. The plot is relatively simple. Maggie Carpenter (Julia Roberts) is a young woman with a fear of commitment. Besides a string of abandoned boyfriends, she has left three would-be husbands at the altar. Her case has attracted enough press attention to interest the resident Intrepid Reporter.

Said reporter is Ike Graham (Richard Gere), recently unemployed after writing a libelous article about Miss Carpenter. Realizing the story was full of factual errors and Malicious Slander provided by the men whose heart Carpenter has broken, Graham decides to find the Runaway Bride and find the truth behind her story.

He finds her preparing for her fourth potential marriage. At first, Ike decides to help Maggie face her fears. However, the two start becoming attracted to each other. Bob Kelly (Christopher Meloni), her current fiancÚ, doesn't particularly appreciate that kind of help.


The film provides examples of:

  • Balcony Escape: When Maggie is spying on Ike.
  • Commitment Issues: The point of the movie is Maggie's complete inability to commit to someone.
  • Hooked Up Afterwards: A long sequence of these takes place over the credits.
  • Love Triangle: Between Maggie, Ike and Bob.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Ike and Maggie are pretty selfish and egotistical people. Yet because they are the protagonists, we are supposed to root for their happiness.
  • Runaway Bride: Maggie has repeatedly ditched men at the most emotionally vulnerable time in their lives because she is insecure. Unlike other examples, the poor guys are sympathetic and friendly and their pain is part of the meat of the movie. Indeed, Ike personally meets the abandoned grooms and hears their stories.
  • Shaming the Mob: Ike at the pre-wedding party to the collected family and friends of Maggie. Granted, the "Mob" here was only throwing snide comments at Maggie rather than pitchforks and torches.
    "May you find yourselves the bullseye 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."
  • Surveillance as the Plot Demands / Magical Security Cam: Sort of. The wedding videos suffer from this, with multiple cuts and invisible cameras.
  • Side Bet: While Ike is watching wedding videos of Maggie's past runs, one of them shows her father losing a bet.
  • Why Waste a Wedding?: Ike becomes groom #5 because he and Maggie hook up during her rehearsal for her fourth wedding and decide not to waste all the arrangements.
  • Working with the Ex: Graham works for his ex-wife (his editor). She has to fire him for not checking facts, and producing an inaccurate column about the titular character.