Director: Charles Shyer
Writer: Charles Shyer, Nancy Meyers, Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett
Released: December 1991
Starring: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams, Martin Short, Kieran Culkin
As part of an upcoming post about the ‘top 10 wedding movies’, I realised I had a lot of research to conduct.
I had originally disregarded Father of the Bride, but a few people told me it’s actually worth a watch. It’s based on a film of the same name, which was made in 1950. All in all it’s an enjoyable enough film, but unfortunately it’s also my worst wedding nightmare come to life.
It’s about a father, George Banks (Steve Martin), and his comedic journey of organising a wedding for his daughter Annie (Kimberly Williams). A lot of unfortunate yet funny things happen, particularly when the in-laws meet for the first time and when George has a break down in a supermarket.
[at a supermarket]
George: I’ll tell you what I’m doing. I want to buy eight hot dogs and eight hot dog buns to go with them. But no one sells eight hot dog buns. They only sell twelve hot dog buns. So I end up paying for four buns I don’t need. So I am removing the superfluous buns. Yeah. And you want to know why? Because some big-shot over at the wiener company got together with some big-shot over at the bun company and decided to rip off the American public. Because they think the American public is a bunch of trusting nit-wits who will pay for everything they don’t need rather than make a stink. Well they’re not ripping of this nitwit anymore because I’m not paying for one more thing I don’t need. George Banks is saying NO!
Stock Boy: Who’s George Banks?
But from the perspective of a soon-to-be bride, Father of the Bride becomes a terrifying movie.
As parents of the bride, George and his wife Nina (Dianne Keaton) pay for the entire wedding, but the cost of 500+ guests threatens debt and money troubles for the modest Banks family.
To George’s relief, his beloved daughter chooses to have the reception at home, which he hopes will save money. But the money saved is promptly spent on an elaborate wedding cake and a flamboyant wedding planner named Franck Eggelhoffer (Martin Short).
(At this point, I wish George would put his foot down but Nina encourages him to keep paying out for everything.)
I’ve heard the wedding planner is many people’s favourite character because his accent is funny. But I think it’s so over-done, to the point that I could understand even less than the other characters could.
By the time the wedding day comes, the father doesn’t even get to try the food, see the cutting of the cake or the first dance because he is running around like a headless chook keeping everything in order.
Annie took advantage of her dad, and didn’t even say anything on the wedding day when he went missing.
While the ranting of George and his emotional turmoil is comedic and light-hearted, I found it a bit upsetting. Putting my parents through that much stress is my worst nightmare, and I’m sure many parents and brides would feel the same.
Not only did George lose his daughter, but the final scene shows him and his wife in a large empty home with rubbish and broken glasses littering the carpet.
Maybe I shouldn’t look so deeply into this family film.
The sequel came out in 1995, but I’m not in a hurry to see it.
Jodie’s rating: 5/10