Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

Charming cast elevates the clichéd Mother of the Bride

Netflix has released a new romantic comedy, “Mother of the Bride,” perfectly timed to coincide with Mother’s Day celebrations. The film is directed by the esteemed filmmaker Mark Waters and written by Robin Bernheim Burger. 

As Emma (Miranda Cosgrove) returns from a transformative year in London, she reveals to her mother, Lana (Brooke Shields), a life-changing decision is to marry RJ (Sean Teale) in just a month at a picturesque resort in Phuket, Thailand. Lana’s world is turned upside down when she discovers that her daughter’s future husband is the son of Will (Benjamin Bratt), a man who had once shattered her heart during their college years. Will, a former classmate of Lana’s sister, Janice (Rachel Harris), and his brother, Scott (Wilson Cruz), adds another layer of complexity to this emotional journey.

The romantic comedy genre often adheres to a predictable story structure, and “Mother of the Bride” is no exception. However, despite its formulaic approach, the film delivers an enjoyable experience. Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove’s convincing performances as a mother-daughter duo are the story’s heart. They steer clear of overacting and make the most of the material they are given, resulting in a charming on-screen chemistry.

As a father of a boy, I hoped to see more emphasis on the groom and his father’s story. Benjamin Bratt, a favorite of mine, plays his role with just the right amount of coolness without coming across as smug. While he does what he can with the material, it’s clear that Sean Teale was cast off his looks, as there is no real insight into his character’s journey. The supporting cast, including Wilson Cruz, Rachel Harris, and Michael McDonald, provides comic relief; however, the humor sometimes falls flat. 

The only absolute waste in the cast is Chad Michael Murray, a potential love interest for Brooke Shields’s character. While he has the same first name as his character from “One Tree Hill,” he is wasted here. Honestly, he was cast in the role to drive up the streams because you could eliminate his character from the film and have the same result.

‘Mother of the Bride’ promises to resonate with audiences of all ages. It offers a charming portrayal of the unique bond between mothers and daughters. Outside of wine drinking and a joke about implied male anatomy, there isn’t too much questionable material, so it should be a one-time watch for moms and daughters.

Final Grade: C+

‘Mother of the Bride’ is now available to stream on Netflix.

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