41 Thoughts I Had While Rewatching ‘Runaway Bride’


There are the romantic comedies I treasure with my life—Clueless, The Holiday, and Two Weeks Notice all spring to mind—and then there are the ones that I just kind of, well…forget. I’m sure I saw the Julia Roberts/Richard Gere rom-com Runaway Bride at some point in my misspent youth, probably on a Saturday afternoon at a friend’s house while waiting for my parents to pick me up from a sleepover, but for the life of me I can’t recall what happens. I assume there’s a bride? And she runs away? Let’s find out together, shall we?

  1. Well, there’s Julia Roberts, galloping off on a horse in a wedding dress and truly heinous veil garland to the strains of U2. I guess that answers that?
  2. When I escape my wedding on horseback, I’m going to do it in a much cooler outfit. But I guess it was 1999, to be fair.
  3. Richard Gere is a journalist looking for ideas for his column Billy Eichner-style, a.k.a. on the street. Nobody will give him a fully fledged column to write, which is rude.
  4. Hey, it’s Melora Hardin, a.k.a. Jan Levinson-Gould! Richard Gere half-hits on her in a bar while trying to write his column.
  5. I’ll say again what I’ve always felt about Carrie Bradshaw: Are we really supposed to believe that all of New York is this fixated on one column?
  6. Boom, the words “runaway bride” have been said. A guy in the bar pitches the notion to Richard Gere, explaining that he’s from her hometown and she’s fixing to marry (or not) again. Richard Gere is intrigued.
  7. Also, his column is famously misogynistic? Cool, guy.
  8. Richard Gere writes a whole column about the titular runaway bride, who is (gasp) Julia Roberts, who’s just a nice girl in a small town with a penchant for weddings. Leave her alone!
  9. God, I love to see Joan Cusack. In any role.
  10. Did Richard Gere fact-check this column at all? I mean, it seems accurate, but still.
  11. Okay, cool; Richard Gere’s editor, Rita Wilson, yells at him for writing something unsourced.
  12. Oh, and she’s also his ex-wife. Seems important!
  13. LMAO, Richard Gere gets canned from his paper but…hired by GQ? To prove the legitimacy of his “Runaway Bride” mishegoss? Will Welch would never.
  14. Richard Gere gets a travel budget for one freelance assignment, and I am [stares in millennial journalist].
  15. Said travel is to Julia Roberts’s small Maryland town, natch (but you probably guessed that).
  16. It’s actually Julia Roberts’s fourth wedding, not her seventh, as Richard Gere erroneously reported. That doesn’t seem so bad to me, but then again, I love divorce.
  17. LMAO, Richard Gere shows up to Julia Roberts’s hair salon and she dyes his hair rainbow. Serves him right.
  18. Richard Gere somehow wins over Julia Roberts’s family, which seems gross, but I guess not journalistically frowned-upon?
  19. Also, her latest fiancé is Christopher Meloni, a.k.a. Detective Elliot Stabler.
  20. Richard Gere watches Julia Roberts’s various wedding videos and realizes that the guy who initially pitched him the story in the bar was none other than Groom #2. Scandal!
  21. Wait, Laurie Metcalf? Who isn’t in this movie?
  22. Elliot Stabler, the groom/affable dum-dum, invites Richard Gere to the wedding.
  23. Richard Gere interviews all of Julia Roberts’s exes, including a priest and a rocker, and we learn that Joan Cusack is horny for Richard Gere even though he’s trying to ruin her friend’s life. Who can blame the woman?
  24. I am a little creeped out by how well Richard Gere has ingratiated himself into this town.
  25. I really want Joan Cusack’s “Hale Peaches” baseball cap.
  26. Julia Roberts snoops around Richard Gere’s hotel room and steals his research. I know I should be on the journalist’s side, but…you go, girl.
  27. Richard Gere pays Julia Roberts off to get an interview (her idea), which I have to imagine GQ would frown upon.
  28. Oh, also, she makes lamps and wants to sell them in New York. Okay, Anna Marie Tendler!
  29. The wedding-dress saleslady totally negs Julia Roberts for trying to buy an expensive dress. Big mistake. Huge. (Oh, wrong movie?)
  30. It is a really beautiful dress, to be fair.
  31. Richard Gere agrees not to write anything about Julia Roberts’s drunk daddy, so I guess he’s not all bad. Things are getting flirty!
  32. On Julia Roberts’s advice, Richard Gere goes back to New York and finally apologizes to Rita Wilson while they’re…playing the piano together? Sure.
  33. In Maryland again, we’re at a county luau, where we’re reminded just how obsessed this whole town is with Julia Roberts. Get a hobby, town!
  34. Apparently, Julia Roberts just apes her fiancés’ interests, down to how they all like their eggs. Hmm. Richard Gere calls her out on it, and she calls him out for being closed-off, and there’s crazy sexual tension.
  35. Wedding rehearsal time! Richard Gere kisses Julia Roberts in front of everyone, which doesn’t seem like the wisest way to consummate a secret flirtation.
  36. Elliot Stabler is pissed off, and punches Richard Gere. As Julia Roberts notes, at least they broke up before the wedding this time?
  37. Richard Gere and Julia Roberts immediately decide to get married instead, which A) huge lesbian U-Haul move, respect, and B) great kicker to his story.
  38. Everyone and their mother and half of New York-based media shows up for the big wedding, except for (spoiler) the bride. Julia Roberts bolts on a FedEx truck, which is the inverse of a U-Haul.
  39. After some sulking time on both parts, Julia Roberts shows up at Richard Gere’s door in New York, lamps in hand, to tell him, “I hate big weddings with everybody staring. I would like to get married on a weekday while everybody is at work. If I ride off into the sunset, I want my own horse.” Aw. Is it weird that I actually find that romantic?
  40. Love the moment, love the romance, don’t love Julia Roberts’s turtleneck.
  41. Real wedding! She did it! Yay!

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