Review – Father of the Bride (1991)

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father-of-the-bride-54f5fe81df872Welcome to Meeting the Parents Week: Day 5. Today, we finish off our comedic meeting of the parents week with a classic, Father of the Bride. Next week…actually…next month, I’m having an entire themed month. That’s right, August will be Mind Control Month, and each week will have its own unique topic based on that month’s theme. For instance, next week’s topic will be Mind Control – Aliens, so I bet you can think of a few films that’d fit that description. Anyways, Father of the Bride is a classic comedy that I remember laughing pretty hard while initially watching. My hopes were to re-live those comedic moments when watching it again. Let’s get into the plot.

In this remake of the Spencer Tracy classic, George and Nina Banks are the parents of young soon-to-be-wed Annie. George is a nervous father unready to face the fact that his little girl is now a woman. The preparations for the extravagant wedding provide additional comic moments. (IMDb)

The first thing you might notice is that times have changed. They don’t really make a lot of comedies like this, and it’s somewhat understandable as to why. A ton of the comedy comes unspoken, found purely in the body language of the comedic legend, Steve Martin. When that happens, it’s great. When it doesn’t, it’s not so great. Close your eyes and listen to the movie, it does start to get boring. That might be because of body language, it might be because it’s a bit aged and our conversation languages have changed in the last 28 years. Whatever the case may be, this movie was not as funny as I remember it being.

Then, I start to think, well…maybe I was thinking about Father of the Bride 2, that one is chock full of humor right? I doubt it, because I was thinking they were both similar in comedy when compared. What a bummer. It’s already been remade, I guess they’ll just have to do it a third time.

Whatever the case, that was just first impressions, what about the rest of the movie? Well, let’s break it down and find out.

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PEOPLE SCORE – 8/10
Acting – 1|Characters – 2|Casting – 2|Importance – 1\Chemistry 2

We have a pretty decent score for the people category. It may not be perfect, but it’s still pretty high for any comedy. The acting doesn’t have a ton of range. There’s a lot of silly faces and silly accents, but that doesn’t equal good acting. The characters themselves are memorable, though. The film is nearly three decades old and I can still remember every one of these characters. The casting is really good, but that might just be because after so many years, you just accept that these actors are these characters. There isn’t a lot of importance placed on the characters though, not even George Banks. George is just easily rattled, so he’s sort of the comedic relief. So is Martin Short, of course. As far as chemistry goes, I really do think the actors all have some pretty good chemistry with one another. There are moments that are sweet and heartfelt – which could only be pulled off if the chemistry was right.

WRITING SCORE – 10/10
Dialogue – 2|Balance – 2|Story – 2|Originality – 2|Interesting – 2

The next thing we’ll take a look at is the writing category, which got a perfect score. This is a very dialogue-heavy flick, as you’ll notice from the get-go…it’s one of those movies where a character narrates through the film here and there. It is also a balanced story. It mostly just centers on the “father of the bride” as he goes through the motions of this wedding. It does have a good story underneath the comedy, which really comes down to accepting someone else as part of your family and understanding your kids aren’t always kids anymore. I would consider it original, as this is one of the first films covering this topic, I know it’s a remake, but still. People really only remember this one. Finally, it is an interesting movie. Steve Martin was comedy gold back then. Even though this isn’t the best version of him and his comedy, it’s still interesting enough.

BTS SCORE – 7/10
Visuals – 1|Directing – 1|Editing – 1|Advertisement – 2|Music – 2

Behind-the-scenes is next, and this category got an okay score. The visuals weren’t exactly impressive. You know it’s aged quite a bit and it never really tries that hard to be visually impressive, so it gets a normal half score there. The directing and editing are what you’d come to expect from a comedy film, so nothing overly fancy or complex can be found for those, either. It is an as advertised film, though, and apart from some weird jazzy music choices that can be found, they have a fun soundtrack.

NARRATIVE ARC SCORE – 9/10
Introduction – 2|Inciting Incident – 2|Obstacles – 2|Climax – 1|Falling Action – 2

Next up, we have the narrative arc, which almost got a perfect score. It has a little bit of an anticlimactic ending, but it is the culmination of everything before it. The introduction was everything an introduction needed to be, the inciting incident occurs when the father of the bride was told his daughter was going to be a bride. The obstacles comes down to the insanity that is involved with preparing for a wedding, and the falling action is the new norm, which is pretty much all in place.

ENTERTAINMENT SCORE – 3/10
Rewatchability – 1|Fun – 1|Impulse/Buy – 0|Impulse/Talk – 0|Sucks you in – 1

How entertaining was it? Not as much as I remember it being. So, while I would have initially gave rewatchability full points, it got half points now because it wasn’t as entertaining, so now I doubt if I’d go looking for it to rewatch. I might rewatch it if someone suggests it or if it’s on TV, but that’s about it. Was it fun? Not as much as I remember, again. I remember it being hysterical, but I couldn’t really get into it this time, so half points for at least Steve Martin’s facial expressions. I don’t care to buy or own it, and I have no care to talk about it, either. Does it suck you in? I would say in certain parts, but not much.

TOTAL SPECIAL – 35/50
Comedy – 5|Romance – 5|Meeting the Parents – 10|Steve Martin – 10|Memory – 5

Here are the five specialty questions that I wrote down before seeing Father of the Bride. How was the comedy? Like I said a couple of times before, not as great as I remember it being. How was the romance? Honestly, it was more about the father going insane, not about the romance between the people getting married, so half points there. It is Meeting the Parents week, so does this fit in? I would say it fits in without a hitch. It’s still about a father meeting the person his kid is dating for the first time and all the hi-jinks that follow. How well does it hold up to memory? Not very well, so I gave that half points as well.

TOTAL – 72/100

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