Father of the Bride

 
(i)

 

Steve Martin's sweet-natured wedding weepy.
  • Review Date: July 14, 2003
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1991
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Good father-daughter relationship.

Positive role models

Some stereotyping.

Violence

Some pratfalls but no real violence. Martin's character pitches a fit in a grocery store, lands in jail.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Mythologizes the high-cost, over-the-top wedding as though it were a requirement.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking at the wedding.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Steve Martin's comic antics make this remake a sweet confection of a movie. Still, parents should know that this movie mythologizes the high-cost, over-the-top wedding as though it were a requirement for all -- the wedding industry does a fine job of that on its own. Martin Short's flamboyant character is funny, but an unfortunate gay stereotype at the same time.

What's the story?

In this remake of Vincent Minnelli's 1950 film (which starred Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy), 22-year-old Annie (Kimberly Williams) comes home from a semester abroad and shocks her parents with the news that she met a wonderful guy and they're engaged. As in the original film, dad George (Steve Martin) has a hard time dealing with the fact that his little girl has grown up. He thinks she's too young to marry, even when his wife Nina (Diane Keaton) reminds him that by age 21 she'd married him and was pregnant with Annie. George puts his future son-in-law to the test to make sure he's good enough, but the main focus of this 1991 remake is the wedding. Over-the-top wedding planner Franck (Martin Short) is hired, and, as the event becomes bigger by the day, George's bank account shrinks.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Father of the Bride spins a pretty web of nuptial fantasy, but is such frenzied consumerism really what weddings are about? That said, there's a lot to like, especially its warm, witty star, Steve Martin, who makes a great dad: he's prickly but loving, a real softie at heart. Diane Keaton has little to do here but smile through tears; her role has been usurped by Martin Short's Frank, the wedding planner whose bizarre accent makes each of his suggestions hilarious. The scenes between Frank and George are superb, and they more than make up for the overly sweet sentiment elsewhere.

Also to its credit, this film manages to capture the love (often unspoken) between a young woman and her father. As George wrestles with the fact that his little girl, who saw him as her hero, is leaving him forever, he experiences emotions that most parents and children will relate to. And in a welcome update of the original movie, Annie has to offer than just a pretty face: she's pursuing a career in architecture, and she can play a mean game of one-on-one.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why Steve Martin's character acts up the way he does. Why is it hard to let go when family members change? Also, do you think a wedding should cost that much? It may be helpful to explain to kids what big business the wedding industry really is. Do you think the father, per tradition here, should be the one footing the bill?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 20, 1991
DVD release date:June 7, 2005
Cast:Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Steve Martin
Director:Charles Shyer
Studio:Touchstone Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:parental guidance

This review of Father of the Bride was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 12 year old Written byTsion April 9, 2008
 

Great, Fun, Family Night Entertainment!

I hadn't seen FATHER OF THE BRIDE before and decided to give it a try. I was impressed. The movie follows George Banks, the average father who has to deal with his daughter Annie, who suddenly returns from studies in Rome with the news that she's marrying. The groom is perfect, the in-laws kind, and the wedding consultant Franc (a HILAROIUS Martin Short) is great, so what's there to deal with? George (Steve Martin) and his wife Nina (Diane Keaton) have to deal with letting their daughter go. And since it's Steve Martin we're talking about, we know we're in for some laughs along the way. Sex is minor, with one innuendo. When Annie and the groom Brian go for a drive, George accidentally belts "don't forget to fasten your condom" instead of seatbelt. Violence consists of some comic pratfalls, and there is no language. This is great family entertainment. There is something in it for everybody. Highly recommended.
Teen, 17 years old Written bysarah418 April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old October 23, 2009
 

Great for tweens and teens!

LOVE IT! Not for under 11, but older will love it!I I know i did!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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