The film was in the making for ten years – in more than one way.
Nine years after Pretty Woman turned Julia Roberts into a superstar and turned Richard Gere into one of Hollywood’s most sought after leading men, the iconic couple on the screen was finally reunited in Runaway Bride.
Roberts and Gere, released on July 30, 1999, again collaborated with their Pretty Woman director Garry Marshall, who died in 2016, for the romantic comedy about a girl from the small town, so scared of dedication that she will be three times off the altar is beaten and the dull separated newspaper columnist decided to see her run for the fourth time. Of course they fall in love.
Fans sprinted to the theater to see the chemistry of the couple, making Runaway Bride, who had been in the making with many other star celebrities for more than ten years, a bigger blockbuster than Pretty Woman, who in 1990 was released.
But just because it made more money than Pretty Woman, this doesn’t mean it was more successful, because Runaway Bride critics couldn’t captivate (only 46 percent freshly earned with Rotten Tomatoes) and even one of the stars later admitted it just wasn’t It didn’t catch the magic of their previous movie. (Plus, one of Roberts’s other iconic rom-coms – Notting Hill – came out a few weeks earlier.)
Thanks to Roberts and Gere’s effortless charm and charisma – both individually and combined – and Marshall’s talent for the genre, Runaway Bride has earned a place as one of the most enduring romantic comedies in Hollywood, even if it is almost never made and another ending in a point.
From the A-listers who would originally play in the film in 1991, to Roberts’ own experience as a runaway bride, here are 20 fun facts you might not know about Runaway Bride …
- Although the concept seemed to be tailor-made for Gere and Roberts to have their Pretty Woman follow-up, Runaway Bride had been in the making for more than ten years, with many other famous actors ready to fight bride (times four) and cynical journalist.
First? Geena Davis and Harrison Ford would lead the film in 1992, but it fell apart when the first director had problems with the script. In the coming years, stars such as Michael Douglas, Demi Moore, Ellen DeGeneres and Mel Gibson were all in the mix.
- But in 1996 Sandra Bullock was interested in playing Maggie and encouraged the project. Until she then had some hesitations – just like Maggie with her suitors – and was out, with Ben Affleck and Tea Leoni in conversations to take over, where the studio liked the idea of a younger couple. But when Affleck died, one of the producers decided to approach Gere.
- Although he loved the script, Gere had one condition that the studio had to meet before he signed up to play Ike: “If you can get Julia, I will participate.” Roberts, who was initially unsure of the film when she read an earlier version of the script years earlier, decided to watch again. And after a phone call with her old Pretty Woman-leading husband, the movie stars were ready to reunite.
“People have been trying to bring them back together for nine years,” studio producer Tom Rosenberg told The LA Times. “And suddenly it happened – it was all arranged within a week.”
- The next phone call was that Gere and Roberts had to make together because they had to chase their Pretty Woman director to officially complete the reunion by re-directing their love story. However, there was a malfunction because Marshall had promised to bring his wife to Australia for a much needed vacation.
“They said,” Call me, we want to talk to your wife, “Marshall recalled the publication.” They told her things like: “How often do we get the chance to do this?” and “we’ll take good care of him,” so in the end I said, “OK, I’ll do it.” “
- The trio’s shared history made filming Runaway Bride a pretty stress-free experience for the trio, with Marshall noticing a change in his leading man, now armed with 10 years of experience on sets and with starry.
“Richard had been very careful with Pretty Woman, but this time he was much more willing to be funny,” the director said. “We usually spoke in our own little shorthand. I just had to shout” Action “and” Shut up. “
- After A-listers Roberts and Gere came on board, the film’s budget rose to $ 70 million, an unusually high number for a romantic comedy. In addition to the gross back-end on the film, Roberts earned $ 17 million for her stripes from the altar, while Gere dropped $ 12 million. The stars turned out to be worthy of their big pay days, when Runaway Bride opened at number 1 at the checkout, with a total of around $ 35 million in weekends, by far the best opening ever for a Roberts movie at the time.
- While inland Runaway Bride started earning more than $ 150 million (and $ 300 million worldwide) and became a blockbuster, it received less than great reviews, while Gere later looked back on the film in an interview with Entertainment Weekly and admitted, “Whatever that magic was in the first movie, you can’t let that happen. Although there are some wonderful things in the movie, it certainly didn’t have the magic of the first. Expecting it to have the same kind of wonderful magic was irresponsible. It was a different film, it was a different time, she was in a different place, I was in a different place. “
- The production descended to the small city of Berlin, Md., Turned it into the fictional and quirky Hale, Md. Before the film, almost $ 1 million was invested in the local economy, raised the property market and nearly doubled tourism after the film was released.
“I’m completely surprised,” the then Berlin Chamber President told The Baltimore Sun about the film’s impact on the city with just 3,000 residents. “The film was the Midas touch that introduced our city to many people. It put us on the map.”
- Once called “America’s Coolest Small Town” by Budget Travel, hosting the Roberts-Gere vehicle is still a proud point for Berlin, with the city organizing a Runaway Bride month in August for the 20th anniversary to celebrate an anniversary.
“People come in and they want to hear,” Hey, did you get to know Richard Gere? How is Julia Roberts? Can we see the house? Where was the bridal shop? “” Ivy Wells, Berlin’s economic and community development director, said. “We thought you know what, we’re going to give people what they want and they want to celebrate the movie, so we’re going to do it for the 20th anniversary.”
- Of course, Maggie’s advantage of walking across the altar four times (before finally being coupled in her fifth attempt) gave Roberts the opportunity to wear four different wedding dresses, although the star wasn’t really looking forward to it. It [was] as painless as it could have ever been, “she told EW.” It was about pleasure. “
Costume designer Albert Wolsky actually designed and created the first four dresses, including the crocheted hippie style. “It was just so funny and so sweet, it made me laugh,” Wolsky said, noting that three copies had been made because of all the wedding stunts (trampoline and motorcycle trips and what do you have). What about the daisies in Maggie’s hair? Roberts idea.
- Regarding the organza dress with satin bands that Maggie wanted in a shop window (and eventually wears for her first attempt down the aisle with Ike), Wolsky made a backup in case her escape from the truck was the original ruined.
“To me,” Wolsky said, “the Federal Express dress is the most beautiful [because of] what he does on the screen.” (in other words, it ‘swings like a bell’, per Maggie’s fitting session.)
- But when it came to the dress, the one who wears Maggie when she finally says “I do” to Ike on a scenic outdoor wedding before the couple goes into the sunset on their own horses, Wolsky actually chose the rack dress from Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. Only one of the off-the-shoulder Amsale Aberra dresses was available, and Wolsky grumbled: “it fitted as if it were made for Julia” and it seemed as if it belonged to “the cover of a novel about romance.”
- Ironically, Roberts was once accused of running away from a bride in real life when she closed her June 1991 nuptials, which would take place on Soundstage 14 of 20th Century Fox, just three days before the wedding. The groom? Kiefer Sutherland, her co-star of Flatliners (with whom she started dating after her engagement with Dylan McDermott, her interest in Steel Magnolias). But it becomes even more dramatic when Roberts walked away with Jason Patric, Sutherland’s Lost Boys co-star and close friend, who had just been invited to the wedding. After chasing away to Ireland and hiding while production started on Hook, Roberts and Patric made their public debut a few later that year before they broke up in 2002.
Although dramatic at the time, Sutherland was able to rationalize Roberts’ decision in a 2006 Rolling Stone interview, admitting: “I praise Julia for seeing how young and stupid we were, even at the last minute, even so painful and as hard as it was. Thank goodness she saw it. “
- Poor Christopher Meloni. In Runaway Bride, Meloni Coach Bob, Maggie’s fourth groom, played before Ike came into the picture. Almost 10 years later, Meloni would again lose romantically to Gere on the screen in Nights in Rodanthe.
- The film was a family affair for Marshall, with his son Scott working as his second director, and even photographing Roberts’ opening scene on horseback. He also played the hotel clerk who is in love with Maggie. His daughter Kathy played a bridesmaid, cousin Cindy, and his wife, who postponed her trip to Australia for Marshall to direct, also came in.
“My wife has one line in the clothing store,” Marshall revealed in The Hollywood Interview. “She was in Pretty Woman and was cut out, so I owed her!”
- Marshall, just like in Pretty Woman, also appears quickly in the film and plays the first baseman during the baseball scene.
- The ugly-the-actually-cute “platypus” face that Maggie makes in the movie was not really in the original script, but Marshall decided to add it when he saw Roberts make the face for his visiting grandchildren on to state.
- It is hard to imagine that something so controversial in Runaway Bride is, but one scene was actually removed from the movie after some test issues became worried after It’s Something About Mary raised the level of animal-related dark humor.
As part of the final credit series, a scene showed two women jogging with a dog, and “a handsome boy passes by, and the young girl gives the dog to the grandmother, and she doesn’t want it and throws it in the trash,” Revealed Marshall on EW.
You can imagine that the reaction was mixed. “Half of the audience, the Something About Mary group, laughed out loud, and the other half were,” Why did you kill the dog? ” “Marshall said, adding that he had made four backup scenes and eventually used one of them.