Julia Roberts and Garry Marshall wanted to work together again
really. The trio scored with Pretty Woman and figured something would
eventually come along to reunite them. Suddenly, a decade had passed... Every
so often, the rumour mill went into overdrive, suggesting that Roberts and Gere
would re-team for this and that. One rumour finally panned out: the shamelessly
feel-good romantic comedy Runaway Bride opened this past summer and
continues to draw American movie-goers, running away with nearly $150 million
The script had been
around for about 10 years, with various permutations of actors and actresses
involved. They offered me the script, recalls Gere. It wasnt
at all what I was thinking about. I was doing political things at the time.
Then it came again and I read it straight through, and I couldnt think of
a reason not to do it. I thought whether or not I did it, Julia should do it.
The part was perfect for her. Perfect. I could see her in it much more clearly
than I could see myself in my role. I called her and said just that.
Its a real 1940s
romantic comedy. The characters are combative, smart and sharp. Julia said,
I think Ive read that before, but let me read it again. She
read it and responded. We both responded to it. We met in my office and like
good professionals, we had our list of directors out. We started laughing and
said, Garry. We called him right there, from my office. He said,
Fabulous. Send it over. Two days later we were all making the
Runaway Bride stars
Roberts as the title character, Maggie Carpenter, a woman with a habit of
falling in love, getting engaged and leaving her prospective husbands at the
altar. When big city newspaper columnist Ike Graham (Gere) gets wind of the
story, he pens a nasty story, doesnt check his facts and loses his job
because of it. Unemployed Ike then heads to bucolic Maryland to get the real
story about Maggie for a proposed magazine feature. And once there, he meets
Maggie, her friends, family and former beaus. Maggie, of course, doesnt
exactly like Ike, (and the feelings mutual), but this is a movie,
after all that changes soon enough.
As for Gere and Roberts, they
got on swimmingly. It was a pleasure, Gere says. Julia and I
know how to do this kind of thing. Weve been friends a long time. When we
did the first read-through it was so clear. We were smiling at each other. We
knew how to do it. We were on solid ground right from the beginning. That made
it easy for Garry and for everyone else. We could try a lot of things and we
knew we could always go back if it didnt work.
Buena Vista International. Feature © Visual Imagination Ltd 1999. Not for