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DVD Review: Our Family Wedding

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Two men, both insensitive to the women in their lives, meet under bad circumstances (one is towing the other’s car away, and words are exchanged) one morning, neither realizing they will see each other again by the end of the day.

Little do they know, their children (son and daughter) are on their way to tell them they are getting married. Complicating all of this is ethnicity: the groom-to-be is African American; the bride is Mexican American. If that weren’t complication enough, the couple will be leaving for Laos in three weeks and the bride is a little truth-impaired when it comes to her family.

America Ferrara as the bride (Lucia) afraid to tell her parents anything (especially that she’s dropped out of law school) is appealing, although frequently frustrating. Marcus, the groom (Lance Gross), seems secondary to the story, which has often been the part the groom gets to play in real life. Meanwhile, the dads (Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) are not beneath throwing cultural stereotypes at each other whenever they can.

The original wedding plans involved immediate family only, but are hijacked by Lucia’s mother who begins to plan a traditional Mexican wedding. The inevitable tension introduces conflict between the bride and groom. As the film progresses, all of the relationships begin to fall apart. Can they be saved?

Our Family Wedding is plagued with clichés, contrived situations, schmaltzy sentiment, and impossible developments. Just another typical American wedding. Everything is wrapped up in a pretty package, tied with a wedding knot, leaving no chestnuts unroasted.

This is slight entertainment. The actors do what they can with the material, but one can’t reconcile Forest Whitaker’s talent with his role (I think of him in Last King of Scotland, then as Brad Boyd in this flick and just shake my head.). There are a few funny moments, but nothing that will stay with you. Even the most raucous scene is false and unsatisfying. As in many movies of this genre, one must look to supporting players’ quirky characters for laughs.

Movies like Our Family Wedding seldom disappoint, because so little is expected from them. A formulaic story told in familiar terms, featuring familiar actors in predictable situations, is what the audience gets. It’s not such a bad bargain because there’s a segment of movie-watchers who want this type of entertainment.

DVD bonus features include deleted scenes, “Til Dads Do Us Part” featurette, and a gag reel.

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