After Billy Herrera and his wife Ingrid decide to get a divorce, their plans to tell their daughters are derailed when their oldest, Sofia, returns from law school and announces that she is not only moving to Mexico but getting married. Billy and his wife agree to keep the news of the divorce a secret until after the wedding, but Billy finds it difficult to put on a happy face when his entire family seems to be falling apart.
As with its predecessors in 1950 and 1991, this version loosely follows Edward Streeter’s 1949 novel of the same name. However, Gary Alarzarki’s film is centered around a Cuban-American family and has some more dramatic elements woven into the story, such as Billy and Ingrid’s failing relationship.
Besides the premise, Father of the Bride has very little in common with the 1954 or 1991 films, which is a blessing. There’s no need to rehash the shenanigans of Stanley/George Banks for a third time (fourth, if you counted Father of the Bride II in 1995).
Andy Garcia’s Billy certainly has more bite to him than the previous iterations. There is undoubtedly more conflict within the Herrera family and with Sofia’s future in-laws. The Herrera clan is Cuban, and the Castillos are Mexican, so there are some cultural clashes to deal with. Billy becomes more exasperated as he begins to lose control of the situation. It takes a wedding day disaster to finally open his eyes to what he truly has.
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. It has a great cast, is well-acted, and immerses itself in the represented cultures. While I think it’s missing some of the sentimentality of the films that came before it, Father of the Bride still offers a fresh, interesting take on the premise that’s been done many times before.