People are review bombing the latest version of Father of the Bride because it has a predominantly Latino cast. Switching from the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant families of the first two versions that starred Spencer Tracy and Steve Martin, Andy Garcia plays a Cuban expatriate who has become a successful architect in Miami.
But there’s already problems in paradise. Billy Herrera (Garcia) and his wife, Ingrid (Gloria Estefan) aren’t living the storybook wedding they thought after raising a family. They’re in marriage counseling where Ingrid lets it slip she doesn’t want to stay in the marriage because of his workaholic attitude and stubborn behavior which shocks him. Their eldest daughter, Sofia (Adria Arjona), a law school graduate, is due to arrive later that day. They’re going to have a big dinner and Billy and Ingrid decide to tell everyone there.
Yet Sofia is so anxious to tell everyone that she’s getting married that Billy and Ingrid realizes it’s not the right time. Sofia is engaged to a fellow lawyer Aden Castillo (Diego Boneta), who just happens to be the son of a wealthy businessman, Hernan (Pedro Damian) who own a Mexican beer company and a soccer team. Hernan also has a wife, Julieta (Marcarena Achaga) half his age who is allergic to shrimp and is constantly telling people she can’t eat it. Aden’s mother, Marcela (Laura Harring) seems to be constantly rolling her eyes at Julietta’s niave youthful attitude. But we find out something later about the two that I liked because it’s hardly shown in movies.
Sofia and Aden’s plan to get married within a month before they move to Mexico City which neither Billy nor Ingrid like. And they don’t want a big wedding either. Sofia’s younger daughter, Cora (Isabela Merced) has been hired to design the dresses for the bride and the bridesmaid but there’s concern this might be too much for her to take on.
You’ve seen this story before. And the filmmakers know what you’re expecting. Eventually, Billy will get enough of this nonsense and throw a fit. Then, Sofia will remind him who is the one really getting married. Billy will calm down but soon it will slip out that he and Ingrid are getting divorced and everyone will know. Then, on the wedding day, they’ll be a big issue thwarting their huge plans but they’ll realize they can still get married at a different venue and everyone pulls together to make it happen. The wedding happens and maybe Billy and Ingrid might rethink whether they will get divorce or stay together.
Garcia hasn’t been in many comedies throughout his career but neither did Tracy. Garcia does a good job here mainly playing the straight man. And he and Estefan have a good chemistry together. Also the rest of the cast give the movie a nice flow of two families having to come together for their kids. I think too many parents get the wrong idea when their kids get married.
Yet I feel Warner Brothers Pictures didn’t have the best intentions as they released it on HBO Max rather than in theaters. I feel this had to do with the Latinx cast. Why do we need to see WASP families to be entertained? The Cuban-American structure of this movie provides a nice look at family dynamics as well as provide a wonderful soundtrack. This movie may not win many awards but it’s two hours of a story anyone who’s ever been married or party of a wedding party can relate.
What do you think? Please comment.