Media Essay on Two Films

The American film Bride Wars was released in 2009, it is an example of a typical modern romantic comedy. It is about two best friends Liv and Emma, who have grown up together planning their “perfect” wedding. They both get engaged at around the same time, together they go shopping for everything needed for a wedding, both looking to create their perfect wedding day.

They get the wedding planner of their dreams, Marion St Clair who turns out to be the wedding planner of their nightmares and accidently books their weddings on the same day! Neither of them will agree to change their date, so they become enemies. As the tag line quotes “Even best friends can’t share the same wedding day.” The cake knives are out, but how will everything turn out?

“Year One” is an American film also released in 2009, it is an example of a romantic adventure comedy. It is about two accident-prone Palaeolithic warriors. Jack Black who plays “Zed “ is a prehistoric would-be hunter he gets kicked out of the tribe in the forest for eating the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. His side kick, “Oh” played by Michael Cera is a gatherer and turns up to “try” and save him.

The film is about their adventures set in the prehistoric era trying to save their two friends Maya and Eema. Both girls are from their former tribe and have been captured and sold into slavery, on their travels Zed and Oh meet Biblical characters on route to the city of Sodom. Do they succeed in saving them?

Although they are of the same genre they couldn’t be more different films. “Bride Wars” is set in the 21st century, whereas “Year One” is set in Palaeolithic era, this means there is a very big contrast between them. Bride Wars gives the impression of being a comedy from the expressions on both the actors’ faces.

They are both looking straight into each other’s eyes showing a devious look with a comic smirk, in a horror film there would be no trace of a comic smirk. “Year One” has the aesthetics of a comedy with Jack Black’s expression being apprehensive and confused, his eyebrow is raised. Michael Cera’s facial expression is one of worried eyes which suggests he is just merely a side kick, and doesn’t really have a say in what Jack is going to do next! “Bride Wars” gives the impression of comedy on the poster, you would never expect brides to have a “war” or the weapons to be cake knives. “

Year One” suggests that it is set in prehistoric times, the first year of man, but the title doesn’t really have a comic sense about it, I believe this is why the director cast Jack Black to star in it, he is a very well known for his comedy roles. People will know that a film with Jack as the main character is going to be entertaining and funny so will choose to see it on that basis. The advertising poster for “Bride Wars” implies some type of confrontation in the plot. In “Bride Wars” the actors Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway have a look in their eyes of pure distain. Anne Hathaway is a popular actress with female audiences of all ages.

She has featured in many other films such as Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, Devil wears Prada and Brokeback Mountain, again she has a good following. In the poster both young ladies are dressed in wedding dresses this helps to emphases the term “bride” to look more potent, The actors have their hair down, which suggest a fight is about to break out, as brides nearly always have their hair up in an “updo”. The poster for “Year One” doesn’t imply a lot, being dressed in animal cloth relates to the title of the film and lets the audience know that this movie is set in pre-historic times.

This leads me to think they might have gotten lost in an adventure, their body language looks like they have just seen something that is confusing or worrying to them. The colours used in each poster have soft tones, nothing potent or eye catching. Except the titles as this is what grabs the audience’s attention as they walk past.

“Bride Wars” uses the colour theme of white and cream, these colours are usually associated with weddings e.g. purity, virgin brides, and wedding dresses, this again emphases the term “Bride.”Year One’s theme is a desert landscape with a blue sky, this suggests it’s a hot day and they might be lost. The actors are the main focus of these posters; this suggests that the films revolve around them.

The tag lines are intriguing, the tag line for Bride Wars suggests a confrontation within the film, and the tag line for “Year One” doesn’t give any clues to the plot of the film. This makes the person reading the poster want to learn more about these tag lines and what happens in the film, these help to grab the audience’s attention to hopefully go and see the film to find out more about them.

The bold text in the “Year One” poster against the desert background makes the text stand out in the poster and catch people eye as they see it. The “Bride Wars” text on the word bride is similar to the text used on wedding invitations and further relates back to the film title.

I think both posters have a target audience. Bride Wars is aimed at female teenagers and also would be appealing to female adults as it is about love and marriage. It is a feminine film, these are sometimes referred to as “chick flicks.” Year One is more of a teenagers film, not quite as girly as Bride Wars so might appeal to a wider audience. Teenagers are big fans of comedies and new movies that have just been released, they feel they can relate to them as they are light hearted and not serious.

These posters inform their intended audience about the film, they try to entice them with intriguing tag lines that make the reader interested and wanting to see the film, and as they say “curiosity killed the cat.” They also inform people about the name, age certificate, genre, actors, and director, trying to persuade them in every way they can to see their film, to make it a success.

In conclusion the posters are about as different as the films, “Year One” gives very little away about what is going to happen in the film so people will be curious to find out more, and perhaps research the film or discuss with friends what it’s about. Word of mouth is the best advert so getting people to talk about the film is a main goal for the poster. On the other hand the poster for “Bride Wars” lets you know the plot of the film, so when people see it they can make an instant decisions whether it interests them or not. Seeing two brides holding knives makes your imagination run and you just want to know what is going to happen.

Both posters have a different target market, which explains why they are so different as they are tailored to appeal to different audiences. The posters have to grab and get the attention and curiosity of the people that they are aimed at and ultimately encourage them to want to go and see the film. Hopefully after seeing the film they will relay their experiences and enjoyment to other people and that will entice them to see the film too!