Father of the Bride Part II (1995)

father of the bride part II IMDb

You know, for someone who owns his own business, George Banks seems incredibly bad at coping with the unexpected.

To be fair, his reaction in Father of the Bride to his daughter getting married is probably what a lot of dads are thinking in the same situation, they just have the good sense to keep their mouth shut (at least in front of their little girl). But his reaction in Part II to his daughter’s announcement that she’s pregnant– kind of inappropriate. Come on, George. If you’re old enough to have a kid who is married, then you’re old enough to be a grandfather. Get over it, buddy. (In fact, the only time I’ve been 100% behind George is when he finds out that he is about to be a father again. That would be stressful for anyone who thought they were done adding to their immediate family.)

Father of the Bride Part II is fun, but it’s just not as good as the original. Personally, I put the blame on the dual pregnancy angle. It’s one thing for George Banks (Steve Martin) to freak out over becoming a grandfather (even if I don’t agree with it), but having him and his wife expecting at the same time as their daughter is a tad much. I’d have been just as happy to see George spend the entire film coping with being a grandfather. Maybe make Annie pregnant with twins, and have Diane Keaton’s character and Annie’s husband out of town when she goes into labor. We could still be treated to parties planned by Franck, clashes with the in-laws, and Steve Martin helplessly trying to help his daughter deliver her baby.

Still, for all the changes I would have made, I find this movie very funny. The cast is great as usual, and honestly, if they made another sequel I’d totally watch it (Father of the Groom, maybe?).

Rating: B-

This film is a great example that lightning rarely strikes twice in the same place. This film carried over everything from the first film that made it funny and endearing, but there is something missing in this sequel.

The film opens a few years after Annie Banks-MacKenzie’s (Kimberly Williams) extravagant wedding. Her father George (Steve Martin), has recently finished paying off her special day and is ready to settle down and relax with his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton). He then has to deal with the news that Annie is pregnant, and he is going to be a grandfather. Just as in the first film, what should be a special occasion for his daughter is upstaged by George’s inability to handle growing old. Determined to dodge the getting old curse, George embarks on a mid-life crisis, dying his hair and selling their family home for a condo on the beach. This new freewheeling lifestyle George has adopted eventually leads to Nina becoming pregnant again with their third child. Mother and daughter being pregnant together causes George to freak out even more. Eventually he accepts that life is a roller coaster and runs with it. He even hires eccentric party planner Franck (Martin Short), to organise the baby shower.

This film is very much a re-tread of the original. It’s basically the same plot except his daughter is pregnant rather than getting married. It feels stale and while it does have its moments, this film is nowhere near as fun as the original. Standout from the first film, Martin Short’s Franck, feels shoe horned in to capitalise on his huge popularity from the first film. He is still funny, but it feels like much of the cast phoned it in for this sequel. I’m actually very surprised there has been no talk of a third film in this series. It is nearly 20 years after Father of the Bride Part II came out, it’s almost perfect for both children born in this film to announce they are each getting married and cause havoc in Steve Martin’s life all over again.

The first film is such a delight to watch, it is disappointing this sequel wasn’t able to build on that movie. The cast still has good chemistry, but this just feels like I’m watching the same film again. There is nothing new here.

Rating: C-

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