Father of the Bride, Part II - * *

Sequel to the remake Father of the Bride and remake of the sequel Father’s Little Dividend. Steve Martin is George Banks, a man with a perfect life…that is going to change radically. His daughter (married off in the first film), announces she is pregnant, sending George headlong into a midlife crisis. No sooner does he protest that he is too young to be a grandfather, then his wife (Dianne Keaton) discovers that she, too, is going to have a baby. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a sequel without bringing back the wacky and zany Franck (Martin Short), the gay European designer/planner, to throw a baby shower, design a nursery, and pester George. The film is overwhelmingly nice. What scenes it doesn’t fill with “Awwww, isn’t that cute”ness, it applys liberal doses of slapstick (from Doberman-wrestling, to an unfortunate overdose of sleeping pills). The main problem with Father of the Bride, Part II, is that is establishes itself so well to the point that there is no tension…George Banks truly does lead a PERFECT life, and with a movie this excruciatingly nice (even in these times of bleaker and bleaker cinema), it would be impossible for anything to go wrong with his life. Without any conflict, the movie is left up to characterization…and Steve Martin almost pulls it off. However, he is a single tentpole in a rather large tent. All of the other characters are shallow, bland stereotypes. Steve Martin’s comic genius saves his character from that fate, but it can’t save the whole film.

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