Father of the Bride is a 1991 American comedy film starring Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams (in her film debut), George Newbern, Martin Short, B. D. Wong, and Kieran Culkin. It is a remake of the 1950 film of the same name.
The film inspired a series of Hallmark commercials that featured the smiling faces of the happy couple and sneak-peeks at the backs of numerous greeting cards. It is number 92 on Bravo's "100 Funniest Movies".
Martin portrays George Banks, a businessman and owner of an athletic shoe company (called Side Kicks), who, when he finds out his daughter is getting married, does not want to give her away. He eventually learns to live with his new son-in-law and realizes that as long as his daughter is happy, he is happy.
The film opened to positive reviews, and became a major box office success, earning more than four times its budget. With its success, a sequel, Father of the Bride Part II was released in 1995.
This was Nancy Meyers and Diane Keaton's second film together, the first being Baby Boom (1987); the others were Father of the Bride Part II (1995) and Something's Gotta Give (2003).
George Banks (Steve Martin) is the owner of a successful athletic shoe company called Side Kicks in San Marino, California. His 22-year-old daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams) who just graduated from college, returns home from Europe, announcing that she is engaged to Bryan MacKenzie (George Newbern), a man from an upper-class family from Bel-Air, despite them only having known each other for three months. The sudden shock turns the warm reunion into a heated argument between George and Annie, but they quickly reconcile in time for Bryan to arrive and meet them. Despite Bryan's good financial status and likeable demeanour, George takes an immediate dislike to him while his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), accepts him as a potential son-in-law. George does not want to let go of his daughter.
George and Nina meet Bryan's parents, John and Joanna MacKenzie. Though George feels comfort from John also expressing how shocked he had initially been at Bryan's engagement, he quickly gets into trouble when he begins nosing around and eventually ends up falling into the pool when cornered by the MacKenzies' vicious pet Dobermans. All is forgiven, however, and the Banks meet with an eccentric European wedding coordinator, Franck Eggelhoffer (Martin Short) and his assistant, Howard Weinstein (B. D. Wong), where George immediately begins complaining about the price of the extravagant wedding items. The high price, $250 a head, plus the problems of wedding invitations begin to take their toll on George and he becomes slightly insane. The last straw occurs when his wrongly sized suit, which he had struggled to put on, rips when he bends his back. He leaves the house to cool off, but ends up causing a disturbance at the supermarket. Fed up with paying for things he doesn't want, he starts removing hot dog buns from their 12-bun packets so as to match the 8-dog packets of hot dogs. He ends up getting arrested, but Nina arrives to bail him out on the condition that he stop ruining the wedding.
With help from Nina and Franck, George becomes more relaxed and accepting of the wedding, particularly when Annie and Bryan receive rather expensive gifts from extended family members, but the wedding plans are put on hold when they have a row over a blender he gave her as a gift, which only gets worse when she refuses to believe his story about George's antics at his parents' house when he fell in the pool. George takes Bryan out for a drink, initially intending to get rid of him for good, but seeing his heartbroken face and genuine claim that he loves Annie, George has a change of heart and finally accepts him. He confesses to Annie that what happened at the MacKenzies' house was true, and she and Bryan reconcile.
Despite some last minute problems with the weather, the wedding is finally prepared, almost one year after Bryan and Annie's first meeting. They marry and the reception is held at the house, despite a nosy police officer objecting to the number of parked cars in the street. Unfortunately, George misses Annie throwing her bouquet and is unable to see her before she and Bryan leave for their honeymoon in Hawaii. However, Annie calls him from the airport to thank and tell him that she loves him one last time before they board the plane.
With the house now empty and the wedding finished, George finds solace with Nina and dances with her.Steve Martin as George Banks
Diane Keaton as Nina Banks
Kimberly Williams as Annie Banks-MacKenzie
Kieran Culkin as Matty Banks
George Newbern as Bryan MacKenzie
Peter Michael Goetz as John MacKenzie
Kate McGregor-Stewart as Joanna MacKenzie
Martin Short as Franck Eggelhoffer
B. D. Wong as Howard Weinstein
Richard Portnow as Al
David Pasquesi as Hanck
Chauncey Leopardi as Cameron
Eugene Levy as Singer at audition
Marissa Lefton as 3-year-old Annie
Sarah Rose Karr as 7-year-old Annie
Amy Young as 12-year-old Annie
Ira Heiden as Supermarket Stock Boy
Britt Leach as Assistant Manager of Supermarket (uncredited, his final film role to date)
The film's soundtrack was scored by Alan Silvestri and was influenced by jazz and Christmas instrumentations. It contains the following tracks:
- "Main Title"
- "Annie's Theme"
- "Drive to Brunch"
- "Snooping Around"
- "Pool Cue"
- "Annie Asleep"
- "Basketball Kiss"
- "The Wedding"
- "Snow Scene"
- "Nina at the Stairs"
- "The Big Day"
- "Annie at the Mirror
- "Pachelbel Canon"
- "The Way You Look Tonight" - Alan Silvestri, Fields, Dorothy
- "My Annie's Gone"
- "The Way You Look Tonight (Reprise)"
- "End Credits"
The following songs are also featured in the film:"My Girl" - The Temptations
"(Today I Met) The Boy I'm Going to Marry" - Darlene Love
"Chapel of Love" - The Dixie Cups
The film opened to generally favorable reviews. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported that 73% of critics gave it a positive rating, based on 41 reviews, with an average score of 6/10. Its consensus states that "while it doesn't quite hit the heights of the original, this remake of the 1950 classic is pleasantly enjoyable, thanks in large part to winning performances from Steve Martin and Martin Short." Contrastingly, it received 51/100 on Metacritic.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars out of four and called it "one of the movies with a lot of smiles and laughter in it, and a good feeling all the way through. Just everyday life, warmly observed." Desson Howe of The Washington Post praised Martin for his performance in it, writing that "it is so funny, it's almost sublime. The explanation is simple: It's all Steve Martin."
The film drew $15 million on its debut.MTV Movie Awards
1992; nominated, "Best Breakthrough Performance" - Kimberly Williams
1992; nominated, "Best Comedic Performance" - Steve Martin
BMI Film Awards
1993: won, "Best Movie" - Father of the Bride
Young Artist Award
1993; nominated, "Best Young Actor Co-starring in a Motion Picture" - Kieran Culkin