Saturday, March 13, 2010

"Our Family Wedding"

Before I arrived at the theater to see "Our Family Wedding," I checked its "freshness" rating on RottenTomatoes.com and saw the movie was rated a horrible 0 percent. The rating didn't completely discourage me from seeing the film, but it did make me a bit wary—and that wariness turned out to be right on the mark.

America Ferrera (TV's "Ugly Betty") and Lance Gross (TV's "House of Payne") star as Lucia and Marcus, a Latina/African-American couple who are finally ready to tell their parents that they're engaged. They want to drop a few other secrets, too, like Lucia dropping out of law school to be a volunteer teacher. Like all interracial couples, Lucia and Marcus hope their families will somehow get along, but of course that would make for a boring movie. The two fathers hate each other on sight because Lucia's mechanic dad had towed Marcus's dad's car only a few days earlier.

There is a lot of fighting between the families, and a lot of animosity that comes with jokes. But throughout all of it, I was thinking—haven't I seen this movie before? Oh wait—I have. In 2005's "Guess Who," Ashton Kutcher meets his African-American fiancee's crazy parents, including her insane father played by Bernie Mac. And that movie was based on the classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" from 1967. So the formula for this movie has already been done before... several times. I was expecting at least some good acting from A-lister Ferrera and also Forest Whitaker ("The Last King of Scotland"), another A-lister who plays Marcus's dad, but no—Ferrera was fine, but Whitaker should stick to dramatic movies rather than comedies.

I would give this movie a favorable rating, because there are plenty of funny lines, but when I thought about it later, I realized that the movie is essentially plotless. Yes, the initial concept is that two people of different races are marrying, and their families are just meeting for the first time about three weeks before the wedding, but after that, the writers seem to try to slip in jokes and gags without actually making the plot go anywhere. Therefore, my recommendation is No, don't see this movie. Some of the jokes are quite nonsensical—someone brings a goat to the wedding because it's some sort of Mexican tradition, the goat gets loose, runs to the bathroom, ends up eating Marcus's dad's Viagra, and becomes rather aroused. Did they really need to include something that stupid in the movie? It's more weird than funny. I recommend skipping this movie and seeing "She's Out of My League" if you still want to see a comedy. Or just see anything, because it will probably be better than "Our Family Wedding."

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