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Father of the Bride (2022) Quick View; Grade: C+

Father of the Bride (2022) tells a story of a Cuban American husband/father named Billy (Andy Garcia), whom is now a wealthy architect living in beautiful Coral Gables, Florida. Unfortunately for Billy his wife Ingrid (Gloria Estefan) wants a divorce, as their time in therapy really hasn’t help nor improve their relationship one bit. As Billy and Ingrid await to tell the family that they are getting a divorce, their daughter Sofia (Adria Arjona) who just came back from New York has announced she’s getting engaged. Sofia also drops an unexpected bomb on the family, that they are having their wedding within next month as she and her fiancé are leaving for their new life in Mexico the month after. Billy must then execute a wedding in the least amount of recommended time, given to have a proper wedding.

If you ever watch television as of lately, you would know brief footage of this film is often found, for the HBO Max commercial ad, trying to lure new subscribers to the streaming service. I’ve been quite curious what Father of the Bride (2022) was, as I couldn’t tell if it was another television series or possibly an original film. But the curiosity has been put to rest finally, as here we have a new original film from Warner Bros found on HBO Max.

I felt the strongest part of this story for me, is the emotional weight is putting on our lead character Billy. As he’s been hit with news that he is potentially going to lose the love of his life, as they’ve been married for decades amount of time, as without their love let’s be honest Billy will not be where he is now. But not only is he dealing with this heart aching thought of losing his beloved wife, along with that he’s now losing his daughter to marriage, as with everything going on he must execute a proper wedding in a short amount of time. I felt the film did a pretty effective job in terms of witnessing the emotional toll this character is going through, as you can only feel a great amount of sympathy for him as he’s dealing with a lot in the process during this difficult period of time.

The rest of the story is fairly written as well. The film does a proper job on dealing with the complications between traditional family values and how kids today want to do something particularly unique when going out and about. You clearly understand both sides as where they’re coming from, as they only want to do what’s best for each individual. I also felt this film also highlights the complication of getting a wedding done in a short amount of time. Weddings sure cost a whole lot of money, but it even takes a whole lot of time to properly execute every single little detail, even the slightest significant little detail even takes a lot of time to execute as well. So if one is planning out a Wedding, that it from this film: Do not rush it, these take a lot of time, attention, and effort. Also felt majority of the conflicts presented were justified as realistic conflicts, with realistic solutions as well.

The film does have however some flaws. Visually speaking… It felt unusual for a feature length film. It sometimes reminds me of Steven Soderbergh directing a sitcom… It has a very unusual style, for a lighthearted comedic/drama film, it felt weird. Not only that some shots in this film were shot poorly, as you can tell they were clearly shot on sets with green screen as well. The comedy material doesn’t always land, you have a couple jokes that do land here and there, but this is a really bland comedy as I honestly prefer it to be more heavily based around drama since the comedy wasn’t clicking for me at all.

Speaking of comedy: What is with this comedic relief instagram wedding planner character Natalie (Chloe Fineman)?! This character was extremely unnecessary, doesn’t provide any sort of comedic value whatsoever. It’s a character trying to play off this stereotypical social media user, as they deliver language in which no sane human being would ever say. I appreciate the fact when Natalie says Latinx, the entire family looks at her like a complete idiot because that’s what this character is… Just a very annoying stupid character that we could honestly be better off without.

There are moments in which the character Sofia can be a little frustrating at times. Especially given when it came down to the wedding venue. You see Sofia doesn’t want a traditional, expensive, nor big wedding… She just wants something simple, small, unique, and special. While Sofia provides the details of what she would like for her wedding to look like, she’s stays completely silent when her fiancé's father provides a highly expensive mansion like house for their wedding to take place in… Didn’t she and including her fiancé say they didn’t want something like this?! Why are they so silent, yet give Billy a difficult time trying to book a luxury hotel for the wedding?! It’s odd and inconsistent.

Also Sofia gives her sister Cora (Isabela Merced) a difficult time, as she’s rushing to make their dresses. Listen I can understand if Cora had all the time in the world to design and make the dresses within the fully given time, to plan out a wedding… But given the fact she has to make and design these dresses in weeks amount of time, I felt it was harsh on Sofia’s behalf, unfair to Cora as well. Cora shouldn’t be nor feel put down in this situation by any means, it just made Sofia a little bit rude even though the film indicates she’s this “Can’t Do No Wrong” sweetheart.

Even though this film is flawed, it however stands firmly on it’s own as a fairly executed family drama. I felt the way the film wraps up in the end was adorable, as it did made my heart warm.

Overall, Father of the Bride (2022) was a perfectly average film. I recommend checking this one out, it’s a nice sit at home watch. -Mitch Smietana

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