Monday, September 25, 2017

The Remake Comparison Project - It's Just a Wedding

Cody and Priscilla save the date for Father of the Bride 1950 and 1991.

The Remake Comparison Project has made its long-awaited return! The series has been on hiatus for a while, this is the first proper Comparison article of the year, but we got back to it this month for a look at a pair of pleasant family friendly films chosen by Priscilla from our list of potential comparisons. It's worth noting that the original film here is the oldest movie we've covered in one of these articles. So far.


Humorist/novelist Edward Streeter's book Father of the Bride was a bestseller in 1949, and MGM wasted no time getting a cinematic adaptation together. Directed by Vincente Minnelli, who at the time was married to Judy Garland and had a young daughter named Liza at home, from a screenplay by the Oscar-nominated writing duo of husband and wife Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett, the Father of the Bride film was released into theatres in mid-June, 1950.

The movie stars Spencer Tracy as Stanley Banks, a man we're introduced to in the aftermath of his daughter Kay's wedding, an event that has clearly taken a lot out of him. Addressing the audience, he talks about the constant state of panic the father of a daughter lives in when she enters the dating world.

The very first seconds of the movie had me thinking they were showing the results of some catastrophic event, like a hurricane or something as bad and as big. Made me wonder if it's just an exaggerated "movie thing" or if people were really that careless, inconsiderate and thoughtless of other people's places back then. The way the house looks after the wedding party is simply appalling.

That segues into a flashback to the day when he arrived home from work to discover that Kay, the oldest of his three children, his only daughter, his favorite child, was with the boy she intended to marry.

Stanley says he arrived home "late as usual", in plain day light. Oldies!

I can see why Kay would be his favorite - his sons Ben and Tommy have so little do with him that they barely register as characters in the film.

Both sons are basically insignificant characters. They don't serve much, or any purpose in the movie.

The Banks sons weren't home that night when Kay (Elizabeth Taylor) revealed to Stanley and his wife Ellie (Joan Bennett) that marriage is likely in her future. Stanley isn't even sure who this guy Buckley Dunstan is, but Kay is clearly over the moon about him. As soon as he hears that there has been marriage talks, Stanley snaps - can this Buckley support his daughter, or will he expect Stanley to support both of them? Kay assures him that Buckley is too independent ask for support. He's a businessman, although Kay can't explain his business. Regardless, she's 20, he's 26, and they can do what they want.

This whole scene seems so strange to me. Kay casually mentions she might marry Buckley, and she does so with this independent, almost entitled attitude, trying to act like her own person, but when her father reacts to it, it shows how emotionally blind she actually is, when she doesn't even know what her future husband does for a living. Times have changed!

When Buckley arrives to take Kay out, Stanley is disappointed to see that it's a guy he has previously met and written off as a "muscle-bound ham". As the couple goes to leave, Stanley suggests that Kay put on a coat. She doesn't want to, until Buckley also suggests it. That's when Stanley realizes for sure he's no longer the most important man in his daughter's life.

One of the favorite things about the film is Stanley's narration, which is throughout the film because he is telling the story. It's quite well written, with some great lines. Like when Stanley describes how Kay will be doling her love out to her parents from now on "like a farmer's wife tossing scraps to a rooster".

Stanley is baffled that Ellie chooses to look forward to the wedding rather than being outraged that Kay might get married so young. Never mind that they were 18 and 25 when they were married. As they lie in their separate beds that night, Stanley finds it impossible to sleep as his mind runs wild with thoughts of how terrible this Buckley guy could be - so he wakes Ellie up to make her worried, too. Then he's able to fall asleep.

Kay's parents decide that Stanley and Buckley need to have a man-to-man chat, especially to find out how much Buckley has in the bank. Stanley sets up a father and future son-in-law talk through Kay, who calls such a thing "old fashioned rigamarole". When Stanley gets his chance to talk to Buckley, though, he spends 30 minutes telling the guy about his own financial set-up instead of asking about Buckley's. Their meeting is over before he can get to the point.

Stanley is such a self-involved character. He has to make everything about him. Poor Buckley arrives with a briefcase overflowing with business papers, and he never even gets to open it, Stanley is too busy spending all of their chat time talking about himself.

It's amusing that Stanley is feeling better about Buckley already after speaking at him rather than with him. Spilling the details of his life to someone has made him feel that person is smart.

Luckily Kay has been able to give her mother the information, which Ellie is able to give to Stanley in a matter of seconds.

And that's all he needed to know.

Stanley again does all the talking when he and Ellie visit Buckley's wealthy parents at their home. Stanley arrives at their home expecting the Dunstans to be prudes, but his outlook changes when they offer him a drink. He proceeds to get drunk while going on and on about Kay - and when the Dunstans start to talk about Buckley, he falls asleep.

Again... self-involved, or in this case, plain selfish and rude.

They say Stanley isn't an alcoholic, but I'm not convinced.

Same here. Stanley got seriously inebriated in someone else's home. People he had never even met before. Sounds like an alcoholic to me.

The next scene is also based around alcohol. Stanley and Ellie host the engagement announcement party at their home, Stanley makes a big batch of martinis - then people start flooding into the kitchen to request drinks other than martinis. Stanley has almost every alcohol you can name in stock, that's no problem, but he's stuck serving so many drinks that he's not even able to make the speech he had planned.

I love this scene! Were people supposed to have fully equipped bars at their homes in the '50s? You just walk in and request whatever drink you want...for free! And the host is expected to have it all? Too bizarre.

There is an engagement party, but there was no engagement scene, and Kay has never outright said "I'm engaged". In that dinner scene, she merely said that she and Buckley would likely get married someday. That simple statement got all of this rolling.

And it gets it all rolling pretty fast, too. What's the rush?

Everyone agrees that the wedding and reception will be small, but it quickly becomes clear that it's not going to be. Stanley puts up some resistance, but relents when he finds out that his wife had wanted a bigger wedding than they had. Kay's wedding needs to be more special than theirs was.

The costs climb - flowers, bridesmaids, suits, dresses, church rental, a cameraman, an orchestra, etc. The bridesmaids each get a $15 gift. Buckley gets a gift. They need to get silverware.

The guest list expands. 572 people are being invited to the church wedding. 280 are then invited to come to the Banks house for the reception. When his secretary tells him the cost of the reception will be $3.75 a head, Stanley wants to whittle the guest list down to 150. They just can't figure out how to do that.

Ellie uses the double excitement - the wedding she never had, plus her only daughter's wedding - to go all out. And most of the guest list consists of guests from the parents of the bride other than herself, so we could say that Stanley had his share of blame for the high cost the even is reaching as well.

It wouldn't be so impossible if Stanley and Ellie didn't insist on inviting friends and business partners that have nothing to do with Kay.

It isn't about Kay as much as it should be, it's about society's standards.

Overwhelmed by the size of the wedding, Stanley makes Kay a secret offer - he'll give her and Buckley $1500 if they'll just run off and elope. When Ellie walks in on them, Stanley quickly brushes that offer under the rug, and when Kay pipes up that eloping might be a good idea he tells her to stop with that nonsense. An elopement would break Ellie's heart, she can't know he would suggest such a thing. He overcompensates for nearly getting caught by saying they won't be cutting down the reception guest list at all.

Hoping to save costs in some way, Stanley digs out an old suit and puts it on, acting like it's a perfect fit even though it's a very tight squeeze.

I know how it is to put on old clothes of a reasonable size only to find that they no longer fit. That's a frustration I've encountered many, many times. Buttons are the worst.

I think most of us can relate to that moment. And some clothes do actually shrink with time depending on fabric and how they're stored.

Mr. Massoula (Leo G. Carroll) is brought on to cater and oversee the reception. He has very fancy ideas, but Stanley and Ellie just want assorted sandwiches, ice cream, and little cakes - stuff Massoula would usually provide for a children's party. Massoula then comes to their home to figure out what needs to be moved and removed to fit the guests in. A tent will be put in the back yard, and when Stanley struggles to open the jammed back door for Massoula his suit rips in the back.

It almost seems like Ellie was a bit ahead of her time. A wedding without a cake? Eggshell pink wedding dress? Though the white dress tradition might have caught extra strength at a later time period.

There's something about some of Stanley's narration lines and the way Tracy delivers them, like when Massoula comes to the house and he says "An experienced caterer can make you ashamed of your house in fifteen minutes", that make me think of the narration in A Christmas Story.

True. It does sound similar at times.

Finally, other people start spending money on the wedding, too. Wedding presents start pouring in, enough to cover the surface of multiple tables. Among them is a strange Venus de Milo statue / clock sent by Aunt Hattie.

Not having had a wedding myself, I feel like they could have used all of the money spent on a single party to buy Kay and Buckley all the gifts they got, with money to spare. But I do realize that most women dream about a big wedding. Some traditions are okay, but the whole thing seems to be too much if you start analyzing it. Kay didn't even want a big wedding, but she got stuck with one.

Then Kay tells her parents to send the presents back. She's calling the wedding off. Buckley has done something unforgivable: he has suggested that they spend their honeymoon on a fishing trip in Nova Scotia. This is Stanley's chance to keep his daughter at home for a while longer, give her a trip to Europe instead of a wedding, but when Kay explains what Buckley's mistake was he actually says it's not such a bad thing.

Buckley stops by to see Kay, and within seconds they have reconciled. When Kay hears Buckley telling Stanley that he realizes he was wrong, she runs into his arms.

There's a chaotic, rain-soaked wedding rehearsal that is really a waste of time for everyone who bothers to show up, because it's over before Buckley even arrives and no stage of the wedding gets a smooth run through, not even the simple "step, stop, step, stop" walk up the aisle.

That is a pretty useless tradition, in my opinion. We don't even have that one here in Brazil. Actually, we don't have half as many wedding traditions as I see in American movies. Only a few exist here.

That night, Stanley has a nightmare about the wedding day where he tries to walk up the aisle but finds himself sinking into the floor, which sort of becomes like the floor of a bouncy house. As he crawls and bounces his way toward the altar, his clothes start catching on the floor and tearing off.

My favorite scene, hands down. What an outstanding way to bring Stanley's nightmare to life! So effective. Absolutely perfect.

There is some fantastic horror movie imagery in this quick scene, it makes me wish Minnelli had made an outright horror film at some point in his career. Unfortunately, he never did. Here he even does the "sinking into the floor in a nightmare" thing thirty-four years before A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Waking from his nightmare, Stanley goes to the kitchen to have a snack and finds Kay in there, having a snack of her own. She confesses to her father that she's scared about the wedding, specifically the massive size of the event. She's having her own nightmarish thoughts of not being able to make it up the aisle. Stanley comforts her; all she'll have to do is take his arm and he'll get her up the aisle.

The wedding day comes. Furniture is moved out of the Banks house, reception decorations are moved in. Outfits are put on, and when things have settled down Stanley watches Ellie come down the stairs in their home. He'll never remember what she was wearing, but he'll never forget the way she looked.

Wouldn't it be easier, and even cheaper in a lot of ways, to have the reception somewhere else? Seems less than ideal having to deal with all the hassle and still lacking room for people to move around.

Kay is running late, so when the cars arrive to take them to the church Stanley goes to her room to get her. There she stands in her wedding dress, looking "like a princess in a fairy tale". Stanley tells her she looks wonderful.

The wedding proceeds without a problem, with Stanley walking Kay down the aisle in total calmness. In his mind, Stanley still struggles with the fact that Kay is a woman now, no longer a child, and she's leaving home.

The reception follows, with way too many people packing into the Banks house (and under the tent in the back yard). There's so much chatter that the orchestra is ignored. Plenty of free champagne is consumed. There's so many people that Stanley has to struggle to get around, searching for Kay. He doesn't get to see her throw her bouquet. He doesn't see the couple exit, with guests throwing confetti at them. By the time he gets outside, they're driving away. He never got to see Kay at the reception.

We have now caught up to the beginning of the film, with Stanley exhausted and the house a total mess. The phone rings - it's Kay, calling from the train station. She couldn't leave without saying goodbye and thanking her parents for all they did. She tells Stanley he was wonderful, and she loves him. Stanley realizes that nothing has really changed; Kay will always be his beloved daughter.

I guess there is a special bond between daughters and fathers, though I'm very glad my dad never acted like Stanley in any way.

I love the saying that pretty much wraps the movie up: "my son's my son until he gets him a wife, but my daughter's my daughter all of her life". It's so true, my parents are always saying that to me. They know they can stop by for lunch, or stay over at my place any time they want, while with my brother, it always has to be cleared up with his wife first. They can't just show up, they need her permission.

Father of the Bride is a nice comedy that still holds up today, more than sixty-five years later, without feeling too dated. The main thing that has changed since the time when this movie was made are the prices that are named - for example, when you adjust for inflation that reception would cost over $37 a head. You can see why Stanley was having a meltdown, the reception alone was costing him around $10,500 in 2016 dollars. The bridesmaids' $15 gifts would actually be in the range of $150 for us now (according to online calculations). I'm sure many fathers could still relate to all of this.

Silly me, I had no clue that the wedding industry/business was so lucrative even as early as 1950. And how unfair is it that the family of the groom doesn't have to contribute? Though at my brother's wedding, it was my parents who paid for most. They got lucky with me, since I didn't have a party at all.

It can be slightly frustrating that Stanley doesn't show a warmer, more emotional side. The audience knows he's very sentimental, but that doesn't come through as much in his actual interactions with his family. It's easier for him to show outrage than to show his softer side.

Most of the time he acts extremely cold. At first it seems like he's obsessed with Kay, which felt a bit off to me, but little by little you understand it comes from loving and caring.

Stanley is a flawed character, but Spencer Tracy did a wonderful job in the role, and the rest of the cast is quite good as well.

True. Elizabeth Taylor is adorable as Kay. I can see why people adored her so much.

The film's dialogue is particularly strong, that alone is enough to make it a recommended viewing to this day. At the time, writers Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett received an Academy Award nomination for their screenplay, the third of four Oscar nominations they would receive over the course of twenty years. (Their other nominations came for The Thin Man, After the Thin Man, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers). Unfortunately, they never won the award. If the Academy had separate categories for original and adapted screenplays Goodrich and Hackett might have won for Father of the Bride, but all screenplays were nominated under one category at the time and they were beaten out by Joseph L. Mankiewicz's original screenplay for All About Eve. Given the fact that All About Eve is a film that is still highly revered to this day, it's not a bad one to lose to.

All About Eve is one of my favorites, so I have absolutely no problem with that.

Many viewers today don't realize that there was an original version of Father of the Bride. If you've seen the 1991 film but not the 1950 one, I would advise seeking it out. It's a very entertaining movie.

I don't think I knew about it, until Cody told me. It's an interesting, and pretty fun way to spend 92 minutes. I'd definitely recommend it.


Forty-one years after the release of Father of the Bride, it was decided that it was time to make a new version of the story. Like the 1950 adaptation of Edward Streeter's novel, the 1991 film was written by a husband and wife duo, in this case Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers, a couple whose screenplays started being made into films the same year they were married, in 1980. Shyer began directing their collaborations as of 1984, and Father of the Bride was another project set up for Shyer and Meyers to write together, with Shyer directing the film.

Shyer and Meyers decided to remain faithful to the original Father of the Bride, not wanting to adapt a success into a failure, with their focus being on updating things for modern day, particularly the comedy, as they felt the comedy of the '50 film hadn't aged well.

This dedication to comedy is apparent in the casting of comedy star Steve Martin as the lead character, George Banks. George is introduced in the aftermath of his daughter Annie's wedding, and he proceeds to the tell the audience the story of that wedding, starting six months before the event. When the fear that Annie would find the right guy (which replaced the fear that she would find the wrong guy) came true.

Six months earlier, Annie was coming back from studying architecture in Rome for a semester and George rushed home from the sneaker factory he runs to greet her with a surprise: he had her bicycle cleaned up and polished. Over dinner, Annie (Kimberly Williams) reveals a bigger surprise to George, her mother Nina (Diane Keaton), and little brother Matty (Kieran Culkin). She met a wonderful American man while she was in Rome and he proposed to her with an antique ring they found at a flea market there.

The engaged girl is actually engaged this time around!

This is actually a decision the couple made together, away from their parents. Annie is notifying them, not deciding right then that she might marry some guy. It fits the '90s.

George is not happy to hear this news. He feels that Annie, at 22, is too young to be getting married, even though he married Nina when she was 21 and she gave birth to Annie when she was 22. Annie had also previously said that she doesn't believe in marriage, that a woman can lose her identity when she's married. Annie believes in marriage with her fiance Bryan MacKenzie, though, and she won't lose her identity because he is supportive of her career goals.

The very first few scenes of the movie make it very clear that George is more openly loving and caring than Stanley was. It also shows a little bit more of George's background and his life at work, which is another element that is fitting to the time the movie is set in.

In the original film, the father says that when he looks at his daughter at the dinner table he could only see her as still being a little girl. Shyer actually gets inside George's head to show Annie from his perspective, a little girl sitting at the table. I thought this was a nice choice, helping us understanding how George is thinking / seeing things.

It was a cute yet scary moment.

Upset over George's blow-up and the fact that he took Bryan's job as an "independent communications consultant" as meaning he's unemployed and will have to be supported, Annie goes outside and sits alone. Nina encourages George to smooth things over with her. He does, and listens to Annie explain that Bryan is a 26-year-old computer genius whose job gets him sent all over the world - Tokyo, Brazil, Geneva, Rome - to hook up computer systems. George tells her, "If you love him so much, I know I'll love him too."

George and Annie then make up by playing a game of basketball at the driveway net, both celebrating their baskets with goofy dances.

I like how father and daughter have this special bonding time. They're basketball buddies.

An hour later, Bryan (George Newbern) shows up to the meet the parents. George is judging the polite, nervous guy from the moment he drives up too fast. He even thinks he's a brown nose for calling him "sir". Bryan and Annie have been dating for three months, ever since meeting at a theatrical screening of Bringing Up Baby. Bryan is clearly well-off, deeply in love with Annie and very supportive of her. Nina is blown away by him. George doesn't like him.

Bryan does seem genuine when he talks about Annie and his feelings for her.

As Bryan and Annie go to leave together, George suggests that she should put on a sweater. She doesn't want to, until Bryan agrees that it's a little cold out. That's when George realizes he is no longer the man in his daughter's life.

The father's narration has been altered here to reflect George's career; he compares himself to a discontinued shoe. That doesn't quite capture my imagination like the line about tossing scraps to a rooster did in the original.

Then there's an example of 1991 humor. As the young couple goes out the door, George means to tell Annie to wear her seatbelt. Instead he slips and says "Don't forget to fasten your condom."

As he and Nina get ready for bed, George continues to nitpick everything about Bryan. When Nina suggests that George still sees Annie as a little girl, he denies it. Nina believes that Bryan was sincere, George thinks the relationship will only last another month or two.

A couple days later, George and Nina go to meet Bryan's parents at their Bel Air mansion. The MacKenzies seem like nice people, so of course George has issues with them - they're too accepting of the idea of their children getting married, and Mr. MacKenzie is too emotional. "Like father, like son."

This will only make sense to people who have watched the TV show Gilmore Girls, but when Priscilla and I were watching the original Father of the Bride and the groom's parents showed up on the screen, I joked that they would hang out with the show's very wealthy characters Richard and Emily Gilmore. Then when we meet the future in-laws in the remake, it turns out that the father is played by Peter Michael Goetz, who was on Gilmore Girls as a wealthy friend of Richard and Emily. It was a funny coincidence.

Another coincidence for those of us who love certain TV shows is George Newbern as Bryan. He's known in our household as "the Yeti from Friends".

Excusing himself to go to the restroom, George ends up snooping in the medicine cabinet, examining the MacKenzies' prescriptions. He knocks part of the cabinet off the wall in the process. Then he wanders into Mr. MacKenzie's office, where he looks at the man's bank book. Cornered by the MacKenzies' dogs, George has to get out of the room by climbing off the balcony, and during these shenanigans manages to drop the bank book in the swimming pool. Soon enough, he has fallen into the swimming pool as well.

This modern style of humor is more over-the-top and physical than the humor of 1950. The humor was more subtle in the original, the laughs in the "meet the parents" scene there came just from the fact that Mr. Banks was dominating the conversation. The humor here is effective, but I appreciate the humor in the original more.

I guess the rule is: change with the times. The type of humor we get from Father of the Bride 1950 probably wouldn't have worked as well in the '90s. I appreciate both, they have their moments.

Now that everyone knows each other, the wedding planning officially begins, with George trying to make sure it's a "less is more" ceremony, since he has to pay for everything. And one of the first things that he's told is that he has to fly in MacKenzie relatives from Denmark. He even suggests the reception be at The Steak Pit, a rib joint with sawdust on the floor. When Annie says she wants the reception to be at their house, George imagines a small affair where he handles the catering, cooking on the grill. His family makes it clear that he's thinking too small. A wedding is a big deal.

A barbecue wedding. Sounds interesting to me!

A wedding coordinator is hired to take care of all the details. Enter Martin Short as Franck, a flamboyant personality with an unplaceable European accent and an exceptionally pleasant assistant in Howard Weinstein (BD Wong). Nina and Annie are all about Franck's ideas, while George can't understand a thing he says. He doesn't win George over by suggesting things like a $1200 cake, either.

Remember what I was saying about the humor being more over-the-top? Wow. I didn't know over-the-top until Franck came on the screen. He's ridiculous, but I like him, and he does a lot in helping the remake stand apart as its own thing. Even though I've gone decades between viewings of this film, I've never forgotten Franck.

Franck is awesome and he gets better and better as the movie develops.

After learning that the reception is going to cost $250 a head, George decrees that they need to whittle down the guest list from 572 to 150. He's so intense about disinviting people and maybe asking some of them not to eat that it upsets Annie. Seeing that she has been reading up on how to cut down on wedding costs, he decides to keep his mouth shut about expenses.

George does try to cut corners himself, digging a very tight old suit out of the attic. Bought it in '75 and it still fits like a glove.

This is a joke that worked better for me in the '50 movie. It's fun to see Steve Martin dancing and singing in his tight suit, but not as amusing as the sight of Spencer Tracy in his tight suit was.

Steve Martin is too skinny for this bit to work properly.

The joke of the wife telling the husband that "the church is free" - as in available, not without charge - is in both movies. So is a scene in which reception planners come to the Banks house and start taking it over, deciding where to set things up and saying all the furniture needs to be moved out of the house. In the original, it was the caterer, here it's Franck, who brings a caterer with him, leading to food drama.

This reception will also require holes being drilled for amps, a tulip border being put in, the hiring of valets, and there will be swans wandering around. Eugene Levy makes a cameo here as an auditioning wedding singer. When George tries to open the jammed back door for a worker, his suit rips in the back.

I think this part might be even more chaotic than it is in the original movie. Drilling holes and having swans around... way too overwhelming.

Pushed over the edge, George goes to the supermarket to buy something for dinner and ends up having a meltdown over the fact that hot dogs come in packs of 8 while buns come in packs of 12.

Other than Franck, this scene was the thing I always remembered the most about Father of the Bride. And I think that was even before I realized that the stockboy he interacts with is Ira Heiden from A Nightmare on Elm Street 3 and the store's assistant manager is Britt Leach, owner of Ira's Toys in Silent Night, Deadly Night.

That alone makes this scene worthwhile.

George is removing four buns from each pack, but he ends up putting three packs in his cart, ending up with a total of 24 buns. Which he would have had if he had just bought two regular packs, no removals necessary. But he's not thinking clearly.

George's antics land him in jail, where Nina comes to see him. Before she'll agree to bail him out, she makes him repeat after her - "I, George Stanley Banks" - in a promise to stop freaking out. They can afford the wedding and he needs to remember his daughter's feelings. He's taking away a piece of her happiness with his behavior. He promises to calm down.

If only everyone could see reason this easily.

Things do calm down a bit in the final days before the wedding. George, Annie, Bryan, and Matty even play basketball together. RSVPs are received. Suits are bought and tailored. Special sneakers are made for Annie to wear at the wedding. Gifts start pouring in, including a Venus de Milo clock statue - the exact same one that appeared in the original film. George feels outshined when the MacKenzies give the couple a car as a gift, when he got them a cappuccino maker. Annie doesn't care about the differences in sizes and prices, she loves the cappuccino maker.

He's already paying for the wedding! What more could she ask for?

A whole room is packed with gifts when a teary Annie comes home to say the wedding is off. Bryan gave her a blender for their eight month anniversary and she is scared that he expects her to be a housewife. This led to a blowout fight, during which Bryan told her what George did at his parents' house. Annie thinks he was lying.

When Bryan shows up to apologize, George takes him out for a man-to-man talk over drinks. Rather than take this opporunity to get rid of the guy, George begins to realize that Bryan is a perfect match for Annie. He smooths things out between the couple and helps them reconcile.

This is the sort of emotional opportunity that Stanley Banks should have been given in the original, but they never had him do something like this.

Men were supposed to be more macho back then. None of this emotional nonsense!

The night before the wedding, George has nice interactions with both of his children. First he helps Matty practice his aisle walk, and while doing this he apologizes for being preoccupied with the wedding. Matty assures him that he hasn't felt ignored.

I can't even recall Kay's brothers' names from the 1950 movie. Now in the remake it feels like Matty is more than just some expendable character. Very present and absolutely adorable. A nice little addition to this version.

Sad that Annie will be moving out, George is unable to sleep, his mind filled with memories of Annie's childhood. He's not the only one being kept awake with such thoughts - he finds Annie outside, shooting hoops. She knows she can't stay, she doesn't want to leave. George tells her that life is full of surprises. While father and daughter talk, it starts snowing. The first time it has snowed in Los Angeles in thirty-six years. It's a moment that George will remember for the rest of his life.

The snow causes some chaos, but the wedding goes ahead as planned. When George sees Nina coming down the stairs as they're leaving for the church, the line from the original about not being able to remember what she was wearing but always remembering how she looked is repeated. Also from the original is the moment when George gets to see Annie in her wedding dress before they leave.

I like her wedding dress, but the headband with her hair down like it's any other day...definitely doesn't match. I don't remember seeing any other movie with a bride wearing that type of headband. Very weird and unstylish.

The wedding happens with everyone playing the part they're supposed to, although George is in emotional turmoil through the whole thing. Then it's party time at the Banks house. Unfortunately, there are so many guests that their cars are filling the stret, causing a police officer to order George to have them moved in 30 minutes. George isn't able to kiss the bride, he doesn't get to eat the food, he's busy moving cars... and to get the job done quickly, he has little Matty and his friend move cars, too.

George doesn't get to do the father-daughter dance, he's not able to make it through the house quick enough to see Annie throw her bouquet, and then she's out the door. By the time he gets outside, Annie and Bryan are driving away, headed for their honeymoon. George didn't get to say goodbye.

That catches us up to the beginning of the movie. As George recovers from the events of the day, he gets a phone call - it's Annie. She couldn't leave without saying goodbye.

Father of the Bride '91 is a movie that I would describe as being really nice. It just has a pleasant tone to it. It's such a warm family film that it sort of feels like a Christmas movie to me, even though there is no Christmas in it. The wedding is in January, but they skip over the holidays (aside from a shot of a turkey being served on, I think, Thanksgiving).

I get that vibe as well. Even some of the soundtrack - which is really good - sounds a bit Chritmas-y at times.

The comedy can get quite silly, but it's still telling that same, relatable story, with less of a focus on the exact costs of things. Shyer and Meyers weren't interested in focusing on money like the original did; even though George doesn't like spending much, these characters still have plenty to go around.

The remake has some pleasant ramifications of the story, and it works very well. Even with the non-subtle type of comedy, it never gets annoying, it never feels like it doesn't belong.

The cast is good, and are allowed to get more emotional than their 1950 counterparts did, which I think is an improvement. If you felt that characters were holding their emotions back too much in the original, you'll like that they are more loving to each other this time around.

True. I always appreciate how awkwardly sweet Steve Martin can be.

I like the fact that during the scenes that show the actual planning of the wedding, Annie is always there...choosing, participating, being involved as she should. It feels more like her wedding than it felt like Kay's wedding in the original.

I also prefer the aftermath of the remake wedding; not quite as disastrous.

Father of the Bride is such a simple, everyday story that it never would have occurred to me to give it the remake treatment, but I'm glad it did get a remake, as both versions are good, entertaining films. Why hold back at having one good movie when you can have two?

They both have their merits and I'd recommend watching them back to back. Makes for a fun and entertaining occasion.

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