Picture from Father Of The Bride
Overall A-

The bittersweet struggle of hanging on while letting go is the stuff sentiment and laughs are made of as George Banks (Steve Martin) prepares to walk his daughter (Kimberly Williams) down the isle.

Violence A
Sexual Content A-
Profanity B+
Substance Use B+

MPAA Rating: PG

Father Of The Bride

Who would have guessed funny-man Steve Martin would make such a good dad? Whether the obvious choice or not, the not-always-family-friendly actor really shines as the Father of the Bride in the 1991 re-make of a classic Hollywood title.

In the film, Martin plays George Banks, a possessive parent who suffers a panic attack when his child, Annie (Kimberly Williams), announces her intention to marry Bryan MacKenzie (George Newbern). First he insists she is too young, then he accuses her suitor of being unsuitable, and finally he turns to his wife to concur with his verdict.

Nina Banks (Diane Keaton) however, is thrilled with the news. Completely charmed by the prospective groom, she pooh-poohs her husband's cold feet and steps up to help with the plans. Giggling with girlish enthusiasm, mom and daughter quickly hire a wedding consultant (the hilarious Martin Short) and start spending money without restraint.

The expense of the nuptials proves to be almost as big of a problem for tightwad George as the emotional toll of giving away his only daughter. Comedy abounds as he tries to balance his anxiety and checkbook with the social obligations associated with the blessed event.

Yet amidst the mayhem of meeting the in-laws, renovating his home to accommodate hundreds of invited guests and looking for cost-cutting alternatives (such as reusing his 20-year-old tuxedo), the script still manages to capture the deep sentiment of the bond between George and Annie, as well as the strength and stability to be found in a loving marriage (especially if you're lucky enough to have a level-headed wife like Nina).

With the exception of a few sexual comments and a couple of drinks shared after a lover's quarrel, Father of the Bride is a must-see movie for anyone (or the parents of anyone) about to tie the knot. Steve Martin's performance offers a sensitive and humorous look at family life, formal occasions, and the bittersweet struggle of hanging on while letting go.

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