Father of the Bride (1991)


Now I definitely know how crazy my old man will get during my sister’s wedding, if she ever has one.

Steve Martin plays George Banks, the befuddled father who has a hard time letting go of his daughter (Kimberly Williams) when she unexpectedly announces her plans to wed.

It seems like when it comes right down to it, weddings are basically a pain in the ass and if you have one, it’s going to cost you a shit-load of moolah. Just ask Steve Martin.

The plot here has that fluffy and really cheesy themes of growing up and being happy with your loved ones that are about as true as the letters on a $2 Hallmark card. The film tries really too hard in getting us to have us touched by everything that’s going on and quite frankly, I just couldn’t help but laugh at all of the cheese I was hearing from this script.

Since this essentially a remake on an old classic that I still haven’t seen, there are a lot of references and homages done here to the screwball comedies of the past. You have a “Bringing Up Baby” as a total clue, and the use of old school poppy songs (“The Boy I’m Gonna Marry,” “My Girl,” etc.) all are there but seem totally forced to give you this feeling of just being laid-back and having a grin on the whole entire time, when in reality, I just wanted the schmaltz to end.

However, the film does actually have some funny moments and moments that are actually somehow touching. It’s great to see the image that George Banks has of his kid as she was once all young and little, going from braces to push-up bras, and little scooters to a Cadillac, and now she’s finally going to live on her own and be a grown-up just like him. This was brought up a lot, almost too much at some points but I think that this film shows a touching look on what the relationship between a father and daughter is and how it’s a happy but also kind of sad moment to see someone who seemed so little, be a biggy kid now.

The film also would be nothing if it wasn’t for Steve Martin in top-form as George Banks. Martin has a lot of those great slap-sticky moments that he always does so very well but it’s also the looks and emotions on his face throughout the whole film that really keeps you laughing. You can always tell just what Banks is feeling at every moment throughout the whole film and it’s really great to see Martin be able to milk up this material the whole time even though it does get terribly cheesy by the end.

Diane Keaton isn’t really given much as his wife, Nina, but it’s still great to see her around as well; Kimberly Williams is good as the daughter, Annie, and has a lot of good emotional moments as a girl who’s basically coming to cope with the fact that she’s not a little kiddy anymore; it was also great to see Martin Short in an extended cameo role as Franck, the wedding planner, and has some goofy accent the whole time but still very very funny in his own way. Such a shame that he and Martin are kind of stuck to doing nothing now.

Consensus: The comedy and touching moments are there enough to put a grin on your face, but Father of the Bride has so much schmaltz, cheesy lines, and forced moments of emotion that it sort of takes away from all the pleasant moments this film has. However, Steve Martin among others is still game and pull it off very well.

5.5/10=Rental!!

7 comments

  1. You should absolutely see the original, which is far better in both the acting and comedy departments. I totally agree with your reading on this one re: schmaltz, but I’ve basically decided that Steve Martin has never actually been funny. You’re next David Letterman!

  2. I’ve seen both this and the original. I honestly found both movies to be depressing. All the father wants to do is spend time with his daughter on her wedding day and things keep getting in the way. These things are supposed to be funny, but I just felt sorry for the dad.

  3. Steve Martin is the distant cousin of Henry Scott Finney, an Arizona hero! Finney and his wife lost their lives as a result of efforts of helping a friend in need.

    Explanation:
    Martha TANDY
    Martin KEY-(siblings)-George Key
    Thomas KEY-(1st cousin)-Susannah Key
    Catherine Tompkins KEY-(2nd cousin)-Tandy Key Martin
    Laura T. Scott-(3rd cousin)-Robert Washington Martin
    James Scott Finney-(4th cousin)-Elizabeth Jane Martin
    James Nelson Finney-(5th cousin)-Homer Hall Martin
    Henry Scott Finney-(6th cousin)-Glenn Vernon Martin
    Henry Scott Finney-(6th cousin once removed)-Stephen Glenn “Steve” Martin

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