Oideas about marriage and marital roles have changed dramatically over the past 50 years, especially now that women are major players in the workforce. What has changed less is the notion of marriage: of course, there are still those couples who prefer to celebrate their union with less conventional events like barbecues on the beach, and those who avoid all that fuss by sneaking At the mayor. But even extremely modern, fashion-forward women still want the fantasy of the pristine white dress, the cake festooned with garlands of frosting or flowers or both, the tradition of being “gifted” by a father or father figure. While some of these conventions run counter to our cherished notions of feminist autonomy, they also fall firmly into the category of tradition, rituals that connect us to our ancestors. And that’s just one of the reasons why we have a new version of father of the bride in 2022: as long as there are young women leaving to get married, there will be fathers who will have mixed feelings seeing them leave.
Andy Garcia plays Billy Herrera, a successful Miami architect who tells us, in the film’s voice-over introduction and elsewhere, how as a young man he came to the United States from Cuba with nothing. He and his wife, Ingrid (Gloria Estefan), have built a life together in the beautiful, sprawling house Billy built for them, back when no one wanted to hire him. They raised two daughters: Cora (Isabela Merced) is a school dropout who disappointed her father; he doesn’t understand her passion for designing clothes (although a later revelation about her sexual orientation seems to bother him much less). Cora’s older sister, Sofia (Adria Arjona, seen recently in Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep TV series and in Marvel Morbius), is the pride and joy of his father, a New York-based lawyer whom he hopes will return to Miami to practice. Instead, she comes home for a visit and drops a mini bombshell on the family: Not only does she marry a man they’ve never met, a sweet, swooning co-worker named Adan (Diego Boneta) , but she is also moving to Mexico. work for a non-profit organization.
Estefan, Garcia and Merced welcome the newlyweds
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
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None of these developments sit well with Billy, who seems frustrated at not being able to control everything in his orbit, including his children’s personal lives. There are more problems: his own marriage is in shambles. Ingrid has decided she’s been ignored for too long – taking precedence over Billy’s job and his obsession with fly fishing – and she wants out. Meanwhile, Adan, who is Mexican, brings his own surprises, including a somewhat unconventional family who have certain ideas about the lavishness of the upcoming wedding. (His mother, lovely in the few minutes she spends on screen, is played by Laura Harring, from Mulholland Dr. celebrity.)
The idea of the father who can’t figure out how to “lose” his daughter is a perennial one, which is why this particular idea of the father of the bride, which originated in a 1949 novel by Edward Streeter, continues to come back. (The first films inspired by the book were the 1950 version by Vincente Minnelli, starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor, and a 1991 adaptation directed by Charles Shyer, starring Steve Martin and Diane Keaton.) Directed by Gary Alazraki (one from the creators of the Netflix Spanish series Cuervos Club) and written by Matt Lopez, this father of the bride has an airy charm. Garcia wears the film deftly with its gruff elegance: it’s easy to buy it as a father who loves his daughters but isn’t quite ready to let them be the people they should be. Self-centered, Instagram-famous wedding planner (SNL‘s Chloe Fineman) pops up here and there with a pretty bouquet of ignorance: her idea of wedding entertainment is to combine flamenco dancers with live flamingos. When Billy informs her in disbelief that flamenco originated in Spain, not Cuba or Mexico, she thanks him, with false spiritual humility, for this teachable moment.
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It’s the little details that make it father of the bride its soft glow. Alazraki is adept at showing how a Cuban family and a Mexican family can have conflicting values, even though those who are not of Hispanic or Latino descent might think so, everyone speaks Spanish, so what’s the problem? And Alazraki is sensitive to the looks that add to the mix: when Billy is upset, he retreats to Domino Park in Little Havana, where many players are older and grumpier than him. One of them is wearing two pairs of glasses on top of each other, a classic old man look that never goes out of style – much like the concept of the father of the bride, maybe old, but who has still make sense. still life in it.
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