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Runaway Bride

Director:Gary Marshall
Writers:Josann McGibbon and Sara Parriott
Touchstone and Paramount; 110 minutes; PG
Release:7/99
Cast:Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, Joan Cusack

Decidedly less misogynistic than prostitute fairy tale Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride reunites Julia Roberts, Richard Gere, and director Gary Marshall for another go at improbable love and box-office success.

The titular bride is Maggie Carpenter (Roberts), infamous for bolting at the altar (she wears running shoes under her wedding dresses). Gere plays hard-boiled Ike, a big city journalist attempting to verify the backcountry bride's outrageous story.

The runaway bride's skittishness comes head to head with Ike's relaxed reporterly veneer in Maggie's mythic Maryland home, one of those Eastern seaboard dream towns where every resident is white. It's as hermetically pleasant and contrived as the movie itself.