Say “Yes” to this Latino-American version.
Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan are the latest leads in this third film version of “Father of the Bride,” after Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett in 1950 and Steve Martin and Diane Keaton in 1991. Seeing both those versions are whimsical and delightful, especially when Tracy and Martin both had their respective ways of expressing the stress of their daughters getting married so young.
I wasn’t expecting to like this version, but it turns out I did. This new “Father of the Bride” has a Latino theme that makes the story so fun. I have a thing for Spanish themes for the cultures, love, and spirits the characters are given. Isn’t it romantico?
Besides the theme and the location of Miami, Florida, a few differences from the other movies include the Cuban-American parents Billy (Garcia) and Ingrid Herrera (Estefan) being on the edge of divorce, and their law school graduate daughter Sofia (Adria Arjona) is the one who proposed to the man of her dreams whom she just met-Adan Castillo (Diego Boneta). Billy is surprised that women can propose to men, although even some of today’s women prefer the other way around. At least that’s what I hear. But that being said, he still requires Adan to ask for his blessing.
And he’s also stressed about the fact that she plans to move to Mexico, where it has a non-profit international law firm with a decent pay. These young lovers plan to support each other, but money is no object to them.
To me, the best wedding planners in this familiar story were played by Martin Short and BD Wong in 1991, compared to SNL’s Chloe Fineman and Casey Thomas Brown, who both seem to millennial to be lively and funny. I think they should have brought back those guys as a throwback or maybe they could have been in the same universe. If all three Spider-Mans met in “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” then why can’t Short and Wong meet the Herreras?
A few more differences……..
Instead of the having a son, this time, the father has a second daughter named Cora (Isabela Merced), who quits her job as a fashion designer. She isn’t a lazy turd; she’s a creative girl with an overbearing boss, which is why she wants to start her own fashion business. She thinks she doesn’t need college, but Sofia and Billy do, which is why she has Cora design her and the bridesmaids’ dresses. Give her a test.
And then, there’s the falling out between this father and Adan’s father Hernan (Pedro Damian), who is a successful businessman behind one of Mexico’s two breweries. He has to marry the youngster Julieta (Macarena Achaga) with a baby boy, and plan to host the more elaborate wedding than Billy can. These moments aren’t exactly original, but if you read between the lines, they have better taste than “Dirty Grandpa” did with its post credits scene.
Gracia ranks with Tracy and Martin in the ways he has his own aspects of this particular story. He’s more concerned about how the young couple’s futures will be, if they don’t think things through or change their perspectives. Maybe they’re right about their directions in life, maybe not. Or maybe it’s the father who needs to change his perspectives. And Estefan does some fabulous work as the wife, who disapproves of her marriage and how her husband behaves during the preparations.
The story is able to thrive in the 2020s, even if it’s not as funny as the last two versions, and it’s rather sweet and good-hearted. I saw this “Father of the Bride” for the way it shares its love for latino cultures, and how it’s able to talk about the challenges of these characters adapting to the American dream. Them preparing for the wedding is no exception, and they learn to be flexible.
Streaming on HBO Max