'Our Family Wedding' combines the plots of 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,' and 'Meet the Parents' into an oddly watchable movie. I know I probably shouldn't have liked this movie. I mean one check of the trusty Tomatometer shows 'Our Family Wedding' languishing in the critical nether regions, with a paltry 13 percent. Seriously, I shouldn't like this movie!
Lucia Ramirez (America Ferrara) has found the man of her dreams in Marcus Boyd. One catch, Lucia is Hispanic and Marcus is African American. Lucia's father Miguel (Carlos Mencia) and Marcus' father Brad (Forest Whitaker) don't get along. Partly because of the racial divide, and partly because Miguel towed Marcus' car at the beginning of the film. It's clear that both of them have a problem with their offspring marrying someone not of their ethnic background. Miguel condescendingly refers to Marcus as "Bro," while Marcus spits back with a sarcastic "Vato!"
Lucia and Marcus want to get married, but as soon as they even mention the word their parents are up in arms about the wedding, how it should be planned, which traditions are going to be followed, and if they should even get married in the first place. Having gone through the whole marriage planning process, I can attest that executing a wedding with dozens of people all thinking they are in charge is one tricky situation to pull off effectively. Here, the problems only are compounded as race becomes the driving factor between the two families.
'Our Family Wedding,' besides one sequence with a goat loose in the house, is fairly subdued in its humor and motives. It's not one of those in-your-face romantic comedies that lashes out at you with inane situational comedy, and then plasters a phony-baloney message on top of it all. The film covers the problems faced by the two families with care and a bit of humor. Each character is flawed and has to work through his or her differences. Lucia and Marcus' wedding is merely the setup for a family drama.
Sure there are major issues that are conveniently side-stepped, and misunderstandings that come out of nowhere, but 'Our Family Wedding' didn't feel like many of those other wedding fiasco movies I've seen. In some weird way it felt sort of real (except for that goat!).
Whitaker does a great job portraying a man who keeps his family close to his heart, but has problems that are dragging him down. If you were Marcus, how would you feel if your fifty year-old dad was bringing home twenty-somethings from the local club every night? (the correct answer is horrified, not proud.) Mencia takes a break from his grating stand-up comedy, and settles into a role that requires him to emote something other than the disdain he ejects during his stand-up shows.
'Our Family Wedding' works, for me, as a simple yet effective (if slightly over-dramatic) wedding film about families trying to work out their differences through conversation and actions. Yes, I still know about its dismal 13 percent on the Tomatometer, but I blame that on the goat.
'Our Family Wedding's 1080p transfer, featuring an AVC encode, shimmers on Blu-ray.
Fine detail shines through from Brad's finely tailored suits to the embroidered stitching on the headrests of Miguel's restored car. Like most other rom-coms, expect a warm color palette to pervade throughout the movie. Even then, colors pop off the screen, especially when someone wears a really bright outfit, juxtaposed with the softer colors. Blacks are nicely rendered with detailed shadows. Crushing never becomes a problem, even during the darkest scenes. Skin tones all stay natural. Compression artifacts are nowhere to be found.
Overall, this is a very solid looking transfer from Fox and, if you're one of the film's few fans out there, you'll be pleased with what you see.
Suffering from the plague of rom-coms, 'Our Family Wedding' sports a fairly uninteresting sound presentation. Not because there's anything technically wrong with the 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio presentation, but just because of the nature of the movie. Heavy on the talking, and light on just about everything else, 'Our Family Wedding's soundfield is almost strictly confined to the front channels. LFE is a very occasional participant, mostly chiming in while Brad and Miguel are in a club. The surrounds are almost silent as busy city streets, crowded restaurants, and lively baseball diamonds are devoid of any kind of ambient sound. I did catch a technical problem located at the 17:14 mark where a small line of dialogue sounds like it echoes ever so slightly, like a small hiccup or something. It's strange and I had to rewind it a couple of times to make sure I was hearing what I was hearing, but it's there. It's not super distracting, but it isn't something that should be there. The audio is nowhere near the quality of the video, but that's just the kind of movie we're dealing with here. 'Our Family Wedding' doesn't really lend itself to a sonic feast of the ears.
OK, I understand! I'm pretty much the only critic who didn't mind 'Our Family Wedding.' Is it cheesy in some parts? Yes. Does it use many of the typical wedding movie clichés? Yes. Does it feel just a little bit more real than many of the wedding movies out there? Thankfully, yes. I'm not saying 'Our Family Wedding' has reinvented the wedding movie genre, but it's a worthy addition to it. The characters feel real and so do their problems. Maybe I was in an extra generous mood when I watched this one, but it really isn't that bad. The video is nice, the audio is what you'd expect from a talk-heavy rom-com, and the special features package is as bland as they come. Rent this if nothing else.