Chris Pratt’s Worst Movie Is Streaming For Free

Chris Pratt spent a lot of his early career being typecast as a jerk, as seen in this terrible, terrible film now streaming for free.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

Chris Pratt

Before Chris Pratt was America’s latest controversial yet generic action hero, he was a beloved, tongue-in-cheek goof of a superhero. But before that, he was the nation’s goofy oaf of a golden retriever of a boyfriend, which he embodied so well that it seems to have planted the seeds of the current backlash against him. But even before that, Chris Pratt was a supporting player in a number of very dumb, forgettable movies, in which he most often played a snide jerk. The single worst of those movies is the 2009 romantic comedy Bride Wars, a movie so toxic that it singlehandedly makes Anne Hathaway, Kate Hudson, Chris Pratt, and the institution of marriage look bad. Bride Wars is currently streaming for free on Amazon Prime Video’s FreeVee service.

Chris Pratt

Bride Wars stars Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson as lifelong best friends, both of whom have been obsessed with having the perfect wedding since witnessing a picture-perfect one at New York City’s Plaza Hotel. Chris Pratt plays Anne Hathaway’s accountant boyfriend (quickly turned fiance), in a role that makes one ask “who could possibly picture Chris Pratt as an accountant?” After Chris Pratt proposes to the sweet but meek Anne Hathaway, the more strident and bossy Kate Hudson strong-arms her own hedge-fund manager boyfriend into proposing (Steve Howey). The real hook of the movie kicks in once the two both hire the services of Candice Bergen (who also narrates the film), New York’s most sought-after wedding planner, and accidentally get booked for the same wedding date at the Plaza. Then Anne Hathway and Kate Hudson both go insane. 

There is no better or easier way to put it than that. Bride Wars largely keeps Chris Pratt and Steve Howey off to the side, as to make more room for Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson to immediately forget their lifelong friendship and sabotage each other in escalating ways. While the 2011 Kristen Wiig blockbuster comedy Bridesmaids handled the subtext of the uselessness of the groom in movies like these better by pointedly not giving Maya Rudolph’s fiance (Tim Heidecker) a single line, Chris Pratt just pops up every once in a while to act increasingly controlling and unpleasant. The majority of the film involves discolored spray tans, Paul Scheer as a maniacal dance instructor (in a rare bright spot of comedic energy in the movie), and, of course, some good old-fashioned body shaming as Anne Hathway attempts to make Kate Hudson too fat to fit in her dress. 

The first woman-on-woman physical fight in pursuit of wedding perfection happens about 25 minutes into Bride Wars. Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson track down another soon-to-be-bride (Casey Wilson, who co-wrote the screenplay with June Diane Raphael, but more on that in a moment) and try to intimidate her into changing her wedding day. It becomes an all-out brawl, but it is not the only physical fight; near the climax of Bride Wars, Anne Hathaway tackles Kate Hudson during her actual ceremony, which leads to the two A-list actors of the time wrestling on the ground in wedding dresses. This was pretty much the entire marketing angle of Bride Wars. 

Bride Wars was a solid box office hit, grossing $115 million off a $30 million budget. It was successful enough to inspire a Chinese remake in 2015. Unsurprisingly, it was savaged by critics. It currently holds a sickly 11% on Rotten Tomatoes (the lowest of Chris Pratt’s filmography, except the bizarre anthology Movie 43, which doesn’t really qualify as an actual movie so much as a lifelong embarrassment for everyone involved). Reviewers noted the worn-out and highly misogynistic central concept, which asserts that women are so obsessed with weddings that they will destroy everything around them in pursuit of the perfect ceremony. That is also not subtext; a phone call between Steve Howey and Chris Pratt early in the movie is basically two bros saying “women are crazy, right?” back and forth. 

Bride Wars makes a great deal more sense when one realizes it was originally written by Greg DePaul, the scribe behind 2001’s Saving Silverman; that movie is entirely built around the idea that marriage is terrible and Jason Biggs needs to be physically rescued from it by Jack Black and Steve Zahn, plus Neil Diamond is there too. Comedians/real-life best friends Casey Wilson and June Diane Raphael rewrote the script and clearly attempted to inject some satire and dark comedy into it, but there is no escaping the inanity of the actual plot. Fortunately for him, Chris Pratt would join Parks & Recreation the same year Bride Wars was released, which shot him to stardom as a whole different kind of jerk, until his character was retooled as a nice guy. In retrospect, Chris Pratt dodged this particular bullet of jerk typecasting just to get hit by a future one as a jerk of an action star.