Mother of the Bride Review: A Light-Hearted Summer Flick

Mother of the Bride Review

Mother of the Bride
Mother of the Bride Review: A Light-Hearted Summer Flick

Date Created: 2024-05-13 10:32

Editor's Rating:

Over the last few years, there has been a surge in opulent destination wedding romantic comedies. Two years ago, we saw “Ticket to Paradise,” starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, and “Shotgun Wedding,” starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel. Most recently, “Anyone But You,” starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell, earned rave reviews and made money at the box office. So it was about time that a watered-down Netflix version of this new sub-genre appeared.


Enter “Mother of the Bride,” starring Brooke Shields, Miranda Cosgrove, and Benjamin Bratt. Like a magpie, it takes bits and pieces from better films and cobbles them together with some paper-thin characters into something that is a movie in definition only.

Director Mark Waters, known for helming star-studded films such as the original “Mean Girls,” “Freaky Friday,” and “Just Like Heaven,” falls short here. The hackneyed script by Robin Bernheim, best known for writing and producing the Netflix “The Princess Switch” trilogy, strands the film’s cast in shallow waters.

Brooke Shields is up for the role of Lana, a world-renowned geneticist who is healing from decades of romantic trauma. She has honed this style of slightly neurotic, screwball comedy since her days on the sitcom “Suddenly Susan.” Lana goes into a complete tailspin when she learns that her daughter Emma (an incredibly bland Miranda Cosgrove) is marrying RJ (Sean Teale), the son of Will (Benjamin Bratt, sadly lacking in his trademark charm), the man who broke her heart in college.

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Rachael Harris basically plays herself as Lana’s perpetually horny cougar sister, referring to a beefed-up Chad Michael Murray as a “Hemsworth hottie.” Michael McDonald and Wilson Cruz play the stereotypical happily married gay couple whose sole purpose is to be sassy and provide the audience with exposition.

Emma, a lifestyle influencer, has signed a six-figure contract with a multinational corporation, effectively selling her wedding as a product to promote their Phuket, Thailand resort. While there is a lot of talk about Instagram photo shoots and designer dress fittings, the film does not go into the economics of the situation. What could have been a sharp satire about the commodification of our lives, down to the most sacred days, becomes a limp lesson in work-life balance.

In conclusion, “Mother of the Bride” is a formulaic romantic comedy, but it is also sweet and funny enough to be effective. The stellar cast, led by Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt, shines in this fun summer movie. It balances silliness and sincerity, providing an easy, breezy, and enjoyable watch.


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