Friday, December 2, 2016

Movie Review: "Father of the Bride Part II" (1995)

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Movie"Father of the Bride Part II"
Director: Charles Shyer
Year: 1995
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 46 minutes

George Banks (Steve Martin) starts to have a midlife crisis when he learns his daughter Annie is pregnant and that he is going to be grandpa. Matters only get worse when his wife Nina (Diane Keaton) gets unexpectedly pregnant as well, meaning George is looking to be a new father at 50. 

"Father of the Bride: Part II" is a sequel to the 1991 film "Father of the Bride" and a loose remake to the 1951 film "Father's Little Dividend," which was a sequel to the 1950 original "Father of the Bride." Charles Shyer returns as director and once again wrote the screenplay along with Nancy Meyers.

The entire cast from the first installment returns to reprise their roles. Steve Martin plays George Banks, the somewhat neurotic, slightly manic father of the bride. He seems fully recovered from the extravagant wedding he threw for his daughter Annie, played by Kimberly Williams-Paisley, but was totally unprepared for her latest announcement. It turns out, she and her husband Bryan, played by George Newbern, are going to be having a baby. The very thought of becoming a grandfather sends George into a midlife crisis as he proceeds to do all he can to recapture his youth immediately. Almost all of this sequel is carried by Steve Martin and his antics as his absurd behavior is a great source of comedy. Everything beyond this is a complete overreach as George's wife Nina, played again by Diane Keaton, announces she is also pregnant a short time after they find out about Annie's bundle of joy on the way. It is said Diane Keaton almost didn't do the film based on this plot point, and frankly, we would have preferred it if she didn't. She's terrible in this movie. There is also a subplot about George selling and then wanting to buy back his house, which involves Eugene Levy as Mr. Habib in a rather racist part, not Mickey Rooney in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" racist, but not too terribly far off. Martin Short is also back as the over-the-top, flamboyant interior decorator Franck, and his performance, like his character, is over-the-top as well.

Despite a few strong moments early on, the film devolves into a cavalcade of absurdity very quickly after it starts. It is almost as if those working behind the camera ran out of ideas about how to actually fill screen time as the majority of substance is completed at about the midway point. Without Steve Martin, "Father of the Bride Part II" would have been a disaster. Luckily, because of him, it's at least a tiny bit tolerable. Diane Keaton should have stayed at home, Kieran Culkin is once again relegated to a one-off line in the plot, and the genuine stupidity regarding most of what happens is almost too much to bear. This sequel is not good at all.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 4/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 48%
Do we recommend this movie: No.

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