Movie Review: "Our Family Wedding"

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Let’s face it, I am not the planned demographic for this film. Being a Caucasian male in his mid-twenty’s, I’m pretty sure Fox Searchlight was not marketing Our Family Wedding to me. However, against the contrary, this new standard interracial wedding movie can actually appeal to most people being that I believe many can relate. By no means is Our Family Wedding anything groundbreaking, but surprising enough it’s actually a decent lighthearted comedy with several good moments and quite a few laughs… even if you hate Carlos Mencia.

That’s right folks! I am willing to admit that I kind of enjoyed this quirky yet absolutely absurd movie. Believe me when I say I was expecting to go in and absolutely hate everything about this film as well as feel out of place, but actually, this film is a wonderful date movie if you just want to get out and have fun. Don’t expect any good acting or phenomenal dialogue; just okay humor.

Our Family Wedding basically is the story of a young couple from different descents that has decided to get married after returning home from college. Unfortunately their families are very traditional and each respected father is not a fan of the other. Lucia, AMERICA FERRERA (Ugly Betty), is of Latin decent where as her fiance Marcus, LANCE GROSS (House of Pain), is African American. Lucia’s family wants her to marry a Latino where as Marcus’s father, FOREST WHITAKER, is more concerned with Lucia’s father, CARLOS MENCIA, who just towed his car. It all comes down to a pretty funny dinner with their parents where the young couple semi-planned to reveal their plans to get hitched. The problem arises at the host stand as both families know nothing of each other along with many other subplots and comical scenarios that allow the bickering to begin.

Marcus’s father arrives not realizing that his future daughter-in-laws father was the tow-man that just towed his car where as Lucia’s father is already upset with how Marcus’s father treated him as a stereotyped Mexican. It doesn’t help that Marcus’s father arrives with a young date whom happens to be an old friend of Lucia’s creating some awkwardness and easy comedy. This of course leads into the couple trying to win over their parents of their significant other while along the journey watching problems unravel in the father’s lives with their own relationships.

Whoa whoa whoa… if it looks like I’m praising this film, hold on. Carlos Mencia who has become hated and annoying to much of America actually reminds me of his gold old days where he is actually funny. It’s his typical schtick by making fun of other races by making fun of his own. However, the bickering between him and Whitaker actually goes way too far for FAR too long. It quickly becomes too unbelievable where Mencia’s character is practically apologizing and Whitaker’s character cannot let it go and begins immature name calling and so forth for no apparent reason. Whitaker does a pretty good job and can be quite funny, but there are moments where the timing is a bit off and it just feels he’s over trying. There are several moments between the fathers that really are laugh out loud funny, but then others that were making me cringe.

Lucia’s mother Sonia, ANJELAH JOHNSON, does a fine job portraying a mother that only wants best for her daughter but at the same time is searching for to rekindle her husbands love. There are some other decent roles like Lucia’s sister that’s the tomboy in the family and her grandmother who isn’t afraid to say anything, but in Spanish of course. There is also another love story between Whitaker and his best friend/lawyer Angela, REGINA KING, that winds up taking over a little too much from the main plot. It’s actually quite touching though. I enjoyed the little subplots throughout the movie that helped this typical comedy appear to have a little uniqueness I wasn’t expecting.

I still feel that the father’s hatred toward one another lasted for a little too long and was never really resolved. There comes a key scene that is far too unrealistic where the film becomes a little too cheesy for what it even is trying to be. It tends to happen to these films where everyone just needs to get a long when the characters had potential of becoming close earlier, but instead become close just because of one silly scenario towards the end of film to wrap things up.

Above all else though, Our Family Wedding is about planning a wedding along with the logistics and fights the families get into during the process. I believe any person who was, or once was, involved in planning a wedding will relate very well to this film and find a lot more humor out of it. It’s “our marriage, their wedding” that Lucia and Marcus must remember. This plays out well and gives the movie a sense of realism even though this is just a silly comedy.

Thanks to some good acting by America Ferrera and some very funny scenarios between Mencia and Whitaker, this film actually deserves a trip out to the movies. I’m not even going to talk about how awful and weird Charlie Murphy’s small role was nor will complain about unbelievability of the quick yet big wedding, but I will say that everyone in the theater was cracking up. Isn’t that what you wanted out of the movie anyway?