Life. It's a word that describes pretty much everything. Certain movies have "life" in them, like Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married. Somehow, some way, that movie managed to capture a feel of what it really feels like to live, what it feels like to attend a wedding, what it feels like to need and hurt and be lonely. Anne Hathaway was a big part of why that movie worked, playing an essentially selfish, needy character but doing so in a completely three-dimensional way; we understood where her flaws came from, rather than simply being presented with them. Now here is Ms. Hathaway again, in a new movie, Bride Wars, and she manages that life once again, but only in one scene, for one fleeting moment. The rest of the time, for 88 out of its 89 minutes, it's a movie totally devoid of life.

In that scene, Emma (Hathaway) runs into with her ex-BFF's brother, Nate (Bryan Greenberg) and reluctantly goes with him to help him try on his tux (and, of course, tie his bow tie). Her relationship with her fiancé is faltering, her plans are falling apart and she misses her feuding friend. Nate asks her how she's doing. She says "fine." He prods, and she breaks down, all of those emotions: excitement, grief, uncertainty, coming out at once. She re-composes herself and leaves the store. It's an example of a skilled actor overcoming weak, lazy material, which is something I've come to see more and more lately.