My Favorite Movies #38 – Father of the Bride

Father of the Bride - Poster.jpgFather of the Bride

1991

Directed by Chris Shyer

Quick synopsis… In this charming update of the much-loved Hollywood classic, Steve Martin turns in a winning performance as George Banks, the befuddled father who has a hard time letting go of his daughter when she unexpectedly announces her plans to wed.

  • Steve Martin is George Banks and he opens the movie by breaking the fourth wall.
  • He has just survived his daughter’s wedding.
  • So, you know… spoiler alert… there’s gonna be a wedding.
  • This is the story of the wedding told from George’s perspective as the Father of the Bride.
  • George is an uptight kind of guy who obviously dislikes change.
  • Which is hard for him when his grown daughter returns from a trip to Rome with the news that she met someone while she was there.
  • Annie (Kimberly Williams) and Brian (George Newbern) experienced a whirlwind romance and now they’re engaged.
  • George doesn’t take it well.
  • Nina (Diane Keaton) is George’s wife.
  • She’s definitely the one with a level head throughout this whole thing.
  • Things calm down before Bryan comes over to meet the parents for the first time.
  • Then it gets awkward again.
  • George’s constant discomfort with wedding planning is the source of most of the movie’s drama and comedy.
  • Meeting Bryan’s parents… Hiring Franck (Martin Short), the wedding planner… And then pretty much everything going wrong that can go wrong…
  • George is vastly unprepared for the rigors of planning a wedding, playing a fantasy of what a reception at their home would look like…
  • You know, George at the grill serving burgers and dogs to a handful of their family and friends.
  • Franck has different plans for an elaborate and expensive reception at home that’s catered by a legit chef.
  • George does manage to turn his attitude around when he finally recognizes how happy his daughter is to be marrying Bryan.
  • I’m not an expert in weddings or receptions, obviously, but I feel like all of George’s misadventures during the wedding reception are a result of poor planning on the part of Franck and his assistant.
  • I know, George having to re-park all of the cars on the block to avoid getting a fine and recruiting kids to help with the chore is funny.
  • And George running around trying to put out a half dozen metaphorical fires is also funny.
  • But he misses his chance to dance with the bride.
  • He doesn’t get to see her throw the bouquet.
  • He doesn’t even get to throw rice when the bride and groom leave.
  • Annie does call him from the airport, thanking him and reminding him that she loves him.
  • And that makes it all worth it in the end.
  • But they should seriously have second thoughts about future encounters with Franck in the sequel.

Father of the Bride is funny and ridiculous and will leave you wondering how so many bad things can happen to one man who isn’t in a Ben Stiller movie. Did you know that it’s also a remake? The original was made in 1950 and starred Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor. If memory serves, it’s pretty good, too.

Next week’s film is one that is endlessly quotable, classically ’80s, and is getting an honest sequel after a botched attempt at a remake a few years back. Got any guesses? Let me know in the comments!

2 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #38 – Father of the Bride

  1. This will always be one of my favourite movies, for some reason. Up until a few years ago, I always thought Franck and Hank’s names were Fronk and Honk because of the way Martin Short pronounced them. Never kicked in that it was actually Frank and Hank.

    Liked by 1 person

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