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‘Father of the Bride’ Review: A Remake With a Cuban Twist

The protagonist of “Father of the Bride” would probably bristle to hear this new romantic comedy referred to as a “Latinx” remake of the classic, which was last revived in 1991, with Steve Martin in the role. This time a Cuban American family is at the center of the story and Billy Herrera (Andy Garcia) is the father who must confront his daughter’s coming wedding.

Herrera, as he often likes to remind his children, emigrated from Cuba with little more than a few cents in his pocket and managed to build a thriving architectural firm. He has expectations for his children and their futures. When his daughter and golden child Sofia (Adria Arjona), announces she is marrying Adan (Diego Boneta), a Mexican man who does not fit the macho image Billy has always imagined, he must contend with the ways in which Sofia’s vision for her life differs from his own.

The film, directed by Gaz Alazraki and written by Matt Lopez, delivers on authenticity — using actors who speak Spanish fluently and working in cultural nuances rather than relying on the broad stroke representation of Latinos we have come to expect from Hollywood. Gloria Estefan plays Billy’s wife, Ingrid, who is fed up with his rigid ways; Isabela Merced is Sofia’s sister Cora, a free-spirited fashion designer; and the comedian Chloe Fineman plays the wacky wedding planner. Most of the film’s humor comes from her hamhanded attempts at adapting to the culture and language of the Herreras.

But there is little other comic relief to leaven the exploration of generational rifts between immigrants and their children, which are fueled in part by machismo and elitism. Diversity, also, is an issue, with an all-white Latino cast,” except for a brief appearance by the reggaeton star Ozuna. Still, “Father of the Bride” shows the sort of rich cultural representation that can happen when people from the cultures being represented are enlisted to tell their own stories.

Father of the Bride
Rated PG-13. Running time: 1 hour 57 minutes. Watch on HBO Max.



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