Runaway Bride (1999)

Runaway Bride (1999)

Taglines: Catch her if you can.

Ike Graham has his own by-lined column in USA Today, which he usually uses as a forum to rail against the opposite sex. For his latest column which he writes at the last minute as usual, he, based on some information from a stranger in a bar about a woman he knows of back home, includes the story of still single Hale, Maryland residing Maggie Carpenter, who is known as the “Runaway Bride” since she has been engaged multiple times, but always leaves her betrothed standing at the altar.

Because an incensed Maggie complains to the newspaper for factual inaccuracies in her story, Ike is fired, but he realizes that the story still has some life in it and thus decides to go to Hale to do further investigation. He finds that Maggie is again engaged, now for the fourth time, this time to high school football coach and adventurist Bob Kelly, who is confident enough in himself to know he will be different than the previous three grooms.

When Maggie finds out that her arch enemy Ike is in town, Maggie and Ike begin a battle of outdoing the other, Maggie in an effort to get back at the man who ruined her reputation nationally, and Ike to expose Maggie for the self-absorbed man-hater he believes she is. The problem for Maggie is that many in Hale, including her family and Bob, actually seem to like Ike. So Maggie ends up taking a different approach in giving Ike the full story for a price.

Runaway Bride (1999)

In doing so, Maggie comes to an understanding of who she is as a person. Both Ike and Maggie also begin to understand why Maggie has left her previous grooms at the altar – Ike’s understanding with a little help from his ex-wife with who he has a complex relationship – and what each is looking for in a loving relationship. But are Maggie’s understanding and wants and Ike’s understanding and wants the same?

Runaway Bride is a 1999 American romantic comedy film directed by Garry Marshall and starring Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack, Rita Wilson, Héctor Elizondo, Paul Dooley, Christopher Meloni, Donal Logue, Jane Morris, Lisa Roberts Gillan and Kathleen Marshall. The screenplay was written by Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott.

The film was in development for over a decade. Actors attached at various times: Anjelica Huston, Mary Steenburgen, Lorraine Bracco, Geena Davis, Demi Moore, Sandra Bullock, Ellen DeGeneres, Téa Leoni (for the role of Maggie); Christopher Walken, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Michael Douglas (for the role of Ike) and Ben Affleck (for the role of Bob). Director Michael Hoffman was attached. Writers Elaine May and Leslie Dixon did unused rewrites.

Much of the film production took place in historic Berlin, Maryland, which was made over to become the fictitious town of Hale, Maryland. Main Street in Berlin, MD as well as some of the landmarks such as the Atlantic Hotel were left nearly as-is during production, while some of the business names on Main Street were changed.

The film opened on July 30, 1999 with $12,000,000 on its opening day. In its opening weekend, Runaway Bride peaked at #1 with $35,055,556. By the end of its run, the film had grossed $152,257,509 domestically and an international $157,200,000, altogether making $309,457,509 worldwide.

Runaway Bride Movie Poster (1999)

Runaway Bride (1999)

Directed by: Garry Marshall
Starring: Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack, Rita Wilson, Héctor Elizondo, Paul Dooley, Christopher Meloni, Donal Logue, Jane Morris, Lisa Roberts Gillan, Kathleen Marshall
Screenplay by: Josann McGibbon, Sara Parriott
Production Design by: Mark Friedberg
Cinematography by: Stuart Dryburgh
Film Editing by: Stuart Dryburgh
Costume Design by: Albert Wolsky
Set Decoration by: Stephanie Carroll
Art Direction by: W. Steven Graham
Music by: James Newton Howard
MPAA Rating: PG for language and some suggestive dialogue.
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures (North America), Buena Vista Pictures (International)
Release Date: July 30, 1999