"Mother of the Bride" is predictable, dumbed-down but easy-breezy Netflix fare


Mother of the Bride (2024)

Don’t be hard on yourself if you thought the new Netflix wedding comedy "Mother of the Bride" was just a gender-reversed redo of "Father of the Bride" (any of the four versions will do). It’s not, but it definitely feels like a redo of a few, no, many retro romantic comedies. Thoroughly predictable as April showers, this light, pleasant-enough distraction won’t be bringing non-subscribers to the streamer post-haste. Just don’t be surprised if the cast having fun in the sun rubs off on you in spite of some mostly lame writing.

As the titular “mother” of the bride, Brooke Shields looks lovely and shows a self-deprecating knack for screwball comedy here and there. She plays Dr. Lana Winslow, a widowed Bay Area geneticist whose precious brand ambassador daughter, Emma (Miranda Cosgrove), surprises Mom with some big news. Instead of looking for a job or going to grad school, she’s engaged to business consultant RJ (Sean Teale), whom she’s been dating without her mom’s knowledge, and they’re getting married in Thailand in a month. (It’s also being paid for by Emma’s company, so life is pretty good.) That’s not the only surprise for Mom — of all the hot, single Latin venture capitalists in all the world, RJ’s father turns out to be Will (Benjamin Bratt), Lana’s former Stanford flame who broke her heart. You’ll never guess what happens next. 

Director Mark Waters (who gave us "Mean Girls" and the "Freaky Friday" remake but also that vapid Addison Rae vehicle "He’s All That") must have had a blast working with this cast. The we’re-on-vacation-and-getting-paid vibe is very infectious, but Robin Bernheim Burger’s script is pretty banal with a lot of blatantly expository dialogue and occasionally forces its characters to act beneath their intelligence with misunderstandings and poolside confessions. The film does at least try to handle its generational characters in an even-keeled manner; Lana is overbearing but not unreasonable, while Emma often comes across as an entitled brat, until realizing her priorities. Read the full review at GuyAtTheMovies.com

Grade: C +

Netflix released "Mother of the Bride" (88 min.) to stream on May 9, 2024.