Steve Martin stars in this enjoyable 1991 remake of the 1950 classic film about the problems that a father goes through planning his daughter's wedding. Kimberly Williams stars as Martin's daughter, who comes home from a trip to Rome to reveal that she's met the man she wants to marry. Of course, George Banks (Martin) is against the idea, not being able to cope with the idea of letting the daughter that he raised grow up.
What follows are a series of events leading up to the wedding. They're fairly predictable, but the direction of Charles Shyer keeps the action fairly fast and entertaining. It's the performances that really(especially by Steve Martin) raise this remake above the level of the usual comedy fare. Good in a supporting effort is Martin Short as a party planner. Finding a rather interesting accent for the character, Short is quite funny in each and every scene he's in.
A few of the jokes fall flat and the movie is too long for what it is, but overall, I enjoyed much of the dialogue that the film has to offer. The most enjoyable moments of the movie are the nicely done moments of drama during the film, which don't feel too forced or sappy. It's unremarkable, but it's a sweet and enjoyable remake that nicely blends humor and drama for an enjoyable time.
VIDEO: The original release of "Father of the Bride" was offered by Disney in non-anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen. The presentation was flawed but, for a non-anamorphic title, it wasn't bad. This new presentation is anamorphic and, despite some minor flaws scattered about, is an improvement. Sharpness and detail are better, as the presentation did appear a bit more consistently well-defined.
Improvements in detail aside, there are still some problems here worth noting. For starters, there is some noticable shimmering present in several scenes, as well as a few trace instances of pixelation. On a positive note, the picture appeared free of edge enhancement and the print looked to be in good shape. Colors were also warm and well-rendered, with no smearing.
SOUND: "Father Of The Bride"'s soundtrack is all dialogue and sparkly, romantic music. Nothing terribly impressive about the sound mix itself, but the music from the Alan Silvestri score certainly sounds clear and enjoyable. The dialogue is presented nicely as well, sounding clear and natural.
EXTRAS: The main supplement is a commentary from director/co-writer/producer Charles Shyer, who notes at the beginning of the of the commentary that he hasn't seen the film in 13 years. Although his commentary starts off with some pretty obvious statements, once things settle in, he does provide an informative and enjoyable chat about working with the actors, trying to make a remake that would stand on its own and trying to balance being a writer and the director.
There's also a brief production featurette from the time of production, as well as a short interview featurette with Martin and Short. Additionally, there's some sneak previews for other titles from the studio.
Final Thoughts: "Father of the Bride" provides light, enjoyable entertainment. It's not without flaws - namely, the running time - but it's a nicely done remake. The new DVD edition provides fine audio/video quality and a few decent supplements. Recommended.
The Film B-