I wasn’t alone in preparing to hate-watch Father of the Bride when it was announced as being a Latin take on the oft-remade film. Yet, when I realized that sublime Mexican filmmaker Gaz Alazraki would be helming the project, I found myself intrigued.
Now streaming on HBOMax, Father of the Bride (or “El Padre de la Novia”) proved to be what we need to cleanse our mental palates from a vicious news cycle and endless fantasy-driven narratives featuring people in tights.
No need to “be prepared” for the cultural nuances of the film, which are its special spice, enhancing a narrative that is both surprising and poignant beyond the emotional scope of the 1950 and 1991 versions. That the film offers a surprising plot twist that rings true raises its level of profundity from being just another wedding tale. More, the ensemble cast led by Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan is a winning group of veterans and rising talent, including Adria Arjona, Isabela Merced, Diego Boneta, and SNL’s Chloe Fineman (in a scene-stealing role as a too-woke wedding planner). All are given space to shine in their spotlight, allowing for a refreshing and sincere film experience that we’ve been lacking from studio fare of late.
It may appear like it is a rehash con chile of Nora Ephron/Nancy Meyers most vanilla tropes. This Father is more than just his story It’s about the family and the families we create through tradition and life’s needs.
It was a real pleasure to interview director Alazraki earlier this year for the film’s suite of content. It wasn’t our first encounter, meeting for the first time on the set of the groundbreaking Netflix series, Club de Cuervos. That Father of the Bride is his first English-language film bodes well for his evolution as an artist. I’m looking forward to what the man behind the blockbuster hit Nosotros Los Nobles has in store next. In the meantime, check out Father of the Bride on HBOMax.