‘Father of the Bride’ (1991) Review

George Banks has it all. His own company, a beautiful house, a wife he adores, and two great kids. His oldest, Annie, is coming home from an overseas architecture program, and the family can’t wait to welcome her home.

Unfortunately for George, Annie reveals to her family that she met a man while in Europe. His name is Bryan Mackenzie, and they’re engaged! George is immediately unhappy about this. Annie has just graduated college, and she’s only 22, but more than that, this was his little girl, and it’s obvious George is having trouble understanding his only daughter has grown up and now there’s another man in her life.

Father of the Bride has always been one of those comfort movies for me. It’s funny and heartwarming, and I genuinely think it’s one of Steve Martin’s best. His comedy style is (mostly) subtle as George, but he’s also wholly relatable and sympathetic in those bittersweet moments when he realizes he has to let go of his baby girl, now a woman.

Diane Keaton plays his wife, Nina, the voice of reason amid George’s constant wedding-based meltdowns. I adore Keaton in just about everything, and while she plays the “straight-woman” here, she represents the audience, rolling her eyes and shaking her head as George freaks out over the price of a wedding cake or hot dogs.

One of the movie’s biggest highlights is Martin Short as Franc, the wedding planner. He’s so over the top in his mannerisms and nearly indecipherable accent, but at the same time, it’s so funny. He gets to be as ridiculous as he wants and easily steals every scene he’s in.

Admittedly, I have not seen the original Father of the Bride from 1950 starring Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy, so I can’t really compare the two, but Nancy Meyers was tasked with updating the script initially penned by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett. I love Nancy Meyers (The Holiday) and spotted several Meyers-isms in the film. Of course, the Banks’ kitchen is gorgeous! Could I write a review about a Nancy Meyers-written movie without mentioning the kitchen? No.

Father of the Bride is full of heart, and I think that’s genuinely its strength, more so over the comedy. The entire cast shines and balances humor and sentimentality quite well without going overboard on either. If you want a light, inoffensive and frothy comedy, Father of the Bride is one I would absolutely recommend.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."