Father of the Bride


Mixed or average reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 17
  2. Negative: 1 out of 17

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Critic Reviews

  1. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Martin is lots of friendly fun, proving once again that he is an actor with untapped range and style. Without him, the movie would deflate. [20 Dec 1991, p.54]
  2. The main problem here is the gross inferiority of the new version to the old: compare Tracy's handling of the opening monologue with Martin's and you'll get a fair indication of what's become of commercial filmmaking over the past four decades.
  3. 75
    It's one of the movies with a lot of smiles and laughter in it, and a good feeling all the way through. Just everyday life, warmly observed.
  4. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Dave Kehr
    The film's real subject is the unacknowledged intensity of the father-daughter bond and the difficulty of separation, though Shyer, true to his name, shies away from the more painful implications of the material. [20 Dec 1991, p.B]
  5. Christian Science Monitor
    Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams do their best with a silly screenplay, and there are a few genuine laughs along the way. [20 Dec 1991]
  6. Reviewed by: Joanna Berrry
    The film does work, but not quite as well as the Hepburn-Tracy classic that it seeks to replace. Mildly amusing.
  7. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    The movie is like a big, smug, sunny ball of fluff, batting around in a crystalline cage. It's bright and well-meaning, but there's little to grab onto or feel. Not even the presence of those expert actor/farceurs, Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, give it any real presence or bite. [20 Dec 1991, p.16]
  8. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    One of the nicest things about Father of the Bride is that it's not ashamed to be old-fashioned and sweet. It's also not ashamed to get sappy and drippy and gooey, but you have to take the good with the bad. [20 Dec 1991, p.C1]
  9. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Reviewed by: William Arnold
    As hard as it tries to capture that blend of domestic comedy and paternal angst that made its predecessor a classic, it is still a pale shadow and a barely passable Steve Martin vehicle. [20 Dec 1991, p.10]
  10. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Christopher Harris
    Alas, the perfect Steve Martin vehicle will probably never be the perfect film, no matter how endearing the silver-haired actor makes himself. And so it is with Father of the Bride; good, but by no means great. [20 Dec 1991, p.C3]
  11. The screenplay represents recycling at its best. The material has been successfully refurbished with new jokes and new attitudes, but the earlier film's most memorable moments have been preserved.
  12. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    At heart, though, the story is about the deep, complex, poignant love a man has for his daughter: it's the Lolita syndrome without the lust but with every bit of the doting possessiveness. [30 Dec 1991, p.71]
  13. The film belongs to Steve Martin, whose crisp, almost bitter delivery, although frequently off-putting, manages to put an edge to a film that, without him, would be mush.
  14. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    A few bits are filler, albeit funny filler. But those who would rather laugh than cry at weddings ( will say "I do'' to Bride. [20 Dec 1991, p.1D]
  15. Village Voice
    Reviewed by: Amy Taubin
    Martin's grin-and-don't-bare-it performance lifts the picture above sitcom level. [31 Dec 1991]
  16. 80
    The movie, as a whole, isn't nearly so original. Still, it's a pleasing, well-crafted, surprisingly satisfying diversion. It's eager to entertain and has a quality that's genuinely rare these days, a spirit of gentle modesty.
  17. 40
    At first, Father of the Bride is so funny, it's almost sublime. The rest of the movie, alas, is regrets only.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Aug 19, 2010
    Daughter returns from Italy, announces marriage, Father not happy, preparations, farce & hullabaloo!!
    Steve Martin is perfect as George Banks
    Daughter returns from Italy, announces marriage, Father not happy, preparations, farce & hullabaloo!!
    Steve Martin is perfect as George Banks in this well written yet predictable comedy farce.
    Good support from Diane Keaton & a tremendously over the top Martin Short as the wedding planner. A mention too for his assistant who is remarkably like Gok Wan, a good while before the real one showed up.
    Full Review »
  2. GarryK.
    Apr 8, 2008
    A nice, heart-warming family comedy.
  3. Sep 25, 2013
    Well it certainly doesn't get more happy or possess the soft chewy centre that 'Father of the Bride' has, it's joyful, weepy, heavily flawedWell it certainly doesn't get more happy or possess the soft chewy centre that 'Father of the Bride' has, it's joyful, weepy, heavily flawed yet such a feel good journey from beginning to end. Steve Martin commands the screen and calmly narrates this mash-up of coming of age, comedy, letting go and matrimony. Martin plays George Banks, a typical 'dad' who protects and looks after his own, so you could imagine that when his daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) announces she is getting married to a virtual stranger in the form of Bryan (George Newbern) George is less than impressed, his slip of the tongue and erratic behaviour says it all, but there is never any danger that the film will throw some twisted turn of fate, a film so full of joy it can actually hurt to smile that much, while all the usual wedding obstacles occur, but these are really only there for the comedy value, not for reflective means, but the comedy is certainly there, in the form of Martin Short sporting a very peculiar accent, his flamboyant and barely understandable voice make up a fair amount of gags and generally funny personality traits. My lingering problem is the amount of fluttering butterflies that the film creates, it paints a picture that any wedding you wish to have is possible, which is untrue, but I don't believe the film was about creating a realistic explanation, but more show the journey the parents make, but again, the journey only seems to consist of daddy, as esteemed actress Diane Keaton, who plays other Nina, plays a largely unimportant role, perhaps a traditional scenario calls for a father and his daughter, but the mother is as equally important. Soundtrack, dialogue and flowing direction make this the joyous occasion indeed, granted it can often fill one with false hope, but strong performances and some heartfelt scenes make this is a very happy affair, perhaps one of the happiest, the chemistry between Martin and Williams-Paisley is convincing and full of meaningful tone, Steve Martin especially controls the situation, it's really his film and that's not a bad thing, his charisma and attitude make the film what it is, it's quite difficult to imagine anyone else in the role, even after all these years. Not the most convincing of messages throughout the film, but it definitely feels good to sit and watch the film, relaxing, funny, well orchestrated and insightful for all. Full Review »