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The Eastern Echo Sunday, June 16, 2024 | Print Archive
The Eastern Echo

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Review: ‘Mother of the Bride’ presents an uncomfortable romance in a bland way

A Netflix romantic comedy, the film follows college exes whose children are marrying each other.

Netflix’s latest romantic comedy “Mother of the Bride” takes keeping it in the family to a new level. In the film, a woman gets engaged to a man whose father broke her mother’s heart in college.

The film follows Lana, played by Brooke Shields, who goes to Thailand for her daughter’s wedding. While there, she discovers that the groom’s father is her ex-boyfriend from college. At the wedding, the two spark an unlikely second-chance romance.

The film was directed by Mark Waters, most famously known for directing “Mean Girls” (2004). It also stars Benjamin Bratt as Lana’s ex-boyfriend, Will, and Miranda Cosgrove as Emma, Lana’s daughter and the bride.

Highs

With the wedding in Thailand, the film has a beautiful beach setting. The cinematography is bright and warm, creating a vacation-esque feeling, enhanced by a colorful wedding design for the set.

Lows

The film’s premise is working against it. If the core couple gets married, it would make the bride and groom step-siblings. This concept does not work for such a lighthearted romantic comedy given how awkward it makes the whole affair. Perhaps it would work in a more melodramatic or experimental movie.

The premise is the only thing that makes “Mother of the Bride” stand out from other romantic comedies. Its execution is simplistic and bland. It is unable to bring anything new to the table, which would require creativity, or use cliches well, which would require a far better cast and script.

The acting is abysmal; not a single actor seems to be sold on the film, and the entire cast delivers flat, unconvincing performances. Cosgrove’s performance is especially stilted, perpetually stuck in an awkward smile and delivering every line in the same vaguely cheerful monotone voice.

Given the writing, it’s hard to blame the cast. The dialogue is so forgettable and boring that it feels as if artificial intelligence wrote the script. This leads to the humor landing awkwardly on its face.

The plot feels entirely like filler. Random pre-wedding hijinks ensue with a clunky pace, and the odd premise is wasted as it lacks intriguing drama.

Verdict

“Mother of the Bride” fails to be either romantic or funny, instead ending up awkward and dull. The concept works against the genre while the cast and screenplay don’t work at all. Though the premise could not work for a romantic comedy, it should have at least created an interesting film.

“Mother of the Bride” is currently available on Netflix.

Rating: 2 out of 10