Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Going to the Chapel

Father of the Bride
Director: Charles Shyer
Cast: Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Martin Short, Kimberly Williams, George Newbern, Kieran Culkin, BD Wong
Released: December 20, 1991

I remember seeing this in the theater and liking it well enough, but after watching it again recently, I found it to be very saccharine. I also didn't understand why the father, George Banks (Steve Martin) was freaking out so much that his daughter was getting married. I can understand he thinks it's pretty soon since she announces she met someone when she was living abroad in Italy and they've only met six months ago, but he seems to be having a hard time of letting his "little girl" go. I feel like most fathers would be happy if their daughters met someone they loved and it would be an added bonus if the guy was financially stable (and this guy was more than enough financially stable!) 

So it's funny that when I first saw this I had no idea who Diane Keaton was (I was barely eleven, how was I suppose to know who she was?!) and when I saw that her name was behind Steve Martin's (I DID know who he was!) in all the promotional posters, I just assumed she was the actress playing the bride. Makes sense to me: the movie is called Father of the Bride, therefore the two title characters must be the two first billed actors! I don't know how long it took for me to realize my mistake. Of course, Diane Keaton plays Nina, the wife to George. The bride, Annie, is played by Kimberly Williams (now Kimberly Williams-Paisley) and this was her first movie role at the age of twenty. I mean, that's pretty cool to act with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton in your first movie. 

After Annie announces she's getting married to a man she met when she was in Italy, her mother is happy for her, but her father immediately starts asking her questions such as what does he do (he's a computer programmer who's very good at his job and very rich), how they met, how long they've known each other, etc. I can understand where the guy is coming from. It would be one thing if Annie came home and said she met a really great guy and they're dating and things are getting serious, but she comes home and drops the bombshell that she's getting MARRIED! So I can understand why he was a little concerned, but even after meeting Annie's fiance, Brian (George Newbern) and seeing he's a stand up guy and cares for Annie, George is still resigned about his daughter getting married. 

The entire movie is about planning the wedding and George's reluctance about it. I can't really blame him when he learns how much this thing is going to cost. Even though the Banks live in a nice house (although it's not a huge mansion like the new in-laws live in!) and drives a super nice car, he acts like they are poor and can't pay for the wedding. However, this wedding seems like it's going to drain them of their life savings so he goes about making some cut backs, such as cutting the original 500 people invited to the wedding to no more than 150. Which makes sense to me...who needs 500 people at their wedding? Who even knows 500 people? The Banks have the reception at their house and the wedding planner, Frank (Fraaaanc) and his assistant (played by Martin Short and BD Wong) insist on the most ridiculous things. They're going to build a tulip garden and a pond for swans; they start sawing away the ceiling in the house to make room for more light. I would most certainly not want people coming into my house and start messing around in it, just hacking away at the structure! George does not understand why the cake (pronounced a totally different way by Franc!) has to be $1200. And I agree. I love weddings; I've been to a few amazing ones in my life, but I don't understand why people spend a fortune just for one day! It's completely ridiculous! 

Speaking of ridiculous things, there's a scene where George and Nina go to meet Brian's parents (without Annie and Brian there, which I thought was really weird) and they live in Beverly Hills in the biggest mansion on the block. When George uses the bathroom, he sneaks into an office and starts looking at a checkbook sitting on a desk, only to find he's trapped because one of the three dobermans who live there is growling at him and he has to crawl out the window and Nina is the only one who sees him when he's climbing down, so she has to distract Brian's parents. Then somehow, George still has the checkbook in his hand (I don't know why he didn't leave it on the desk!) and it somehow gets thrown into the pool and he has to try to reach for it and while he's doing that, two dogs from each side of him attack him and he falls into the water. It's completely ridiculous and we never hear the repercussion of what happened! The only thing we hear about it is when Annie and Brian have had a fight and she tells her father that Brian told her this crazy story about what happened and of course its' all true. Annie seems a little high strung because she was about to end her engagement with Brian just because he bought her a blender for their kitchen. She thought it meant he wanted her to be his little housewife and she's all about being an independent woman, but as Brian explained to George, he knew Annie liked a banana smoothie and just wanted to buy her a blender just in case she ever wanted to make one. I mean, if you were willing to end your engagement over THAT, there's no way that couple is going to last! But of course, George talks to Annie and she forgives Brian and the wedding is still on. Ha, if I were her dad, I would be like, You're damn sure the wedding is still on....do you know how much I've already spent and all the construction work they've done on the house? 

The wedding at the church is very nice and one of the last moments George shares with his daughter when he walks her down the aisle because at the reception at the Banks' he can't seem to have a chance to talk to her. At the reception, their house is crowded with people and for some reason when they're about to eat, he has to stand in line...you think they would let him go to the front of the line since he's the freaking father of the bride! His wife seemed to be able to get her food pretty fast. Then, since there are so many people, the cops come to tell them they need to have all these cars removed from the premise because they don't have a permit to double and triple park all these cars on the street. You would think they would have realized this BEFORE the day of the reception and gotten on that. So George gets his young son, Matty (Kieran Culkin) and his little friend to move all the cars onto lawns. 

It's announced Annie is about to throw her bouquet before and and her new husband are to leave for their honeymoon. George tries taking a short cut, but he just misses her by moments. She does, however, call him from the airport...from a pay phone, haha, oh, 1991! She calls to tell him thank you and that she loves him. Aww, how sweet, but seriously, she couldn't find him at the wedding to say these things? 

This movie has some humorous moment and some sweet moment (like when George plays basketball one on one with Annie while the song "My Girl" is playing), but overall, I found it a little flat. 

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