I remember when I saw this film as a kid. Turns out I was eleven years old when it came out - a very important year. I remember being disenchanted by Julia Roberts - turned off simply because the whole world loved her. There was something in me at the time that didn't really care much for the popular girl. I was more intrigued by Angelina Jolie types because their stories were grittier and told stories the world often tries to hide. Little did I know that "love" would be short lived. She, like Meg Ryan and Gweneth Paltrow, would soon have to fight tooth and nail to get a leading role only just a few years after their stardom.
Roberts is perfect in this fil "Ruanway Bride" (1999). I can see, 17 years later, just how easily it is to fall in love with her. She was so charming and quirky and that smile - it stops you in your tracks. But I think what makes her character so special, especially from a writing stand point, is that she was this goofy tom boy who worked at a hardware store. That type of female character is such an anomaly in romantic comedies, even today. It was perfect. I hope that she and Richard Gere get some more screen time soon. They are so good together.
The script below is really important too because (spoiler alert) it explains why in the end, Roberts' character runs away from Gere. The lines below are evidence that happily ever after doesn't always come in a kiss. Sometimes it comes in an embrace, that is, embracing ourselves.
Maggie Carpenter: I wanted to tell you why I run - sometimes ride - away from things.
Ike Graham: Does it matter?
Maggie Carpenter: I think so.
[takes a deep breath]
Maggie Carpenter: When I was walking down the aisle, I was walking toward somebody who didn't have any idea who I really was. And it was only half the other person's fault, because I had done everything to convince him that I was exactly what he wanted. So it was good that I didn't go through with it because it would have been a lie. But you - you knew the real me.
Ike Graham: Yes, I did.
Maggie Carpenter: I didn't. And you being the one at the end of the aisle didn't just fix that.