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Father of the Bride, Part II (1995)



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Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers team up again for this sequel to their remake (1991's Father of the Bride) of the original 1950 Father of the Bride, which also happens to be a remake of its sequel (1951's Father's Little Dividend). Got that?

This time, Steve Martin's daughter is having a baby, but unlike the original sequel, his wife is pregnant, too. The ensuing comedy and lighthearted drama are in the same vein as the 1991 film and even better in many ways. At the risk of employing an overused phrase used more for hype than legitimate criticism, this is the ultimate in "feel good" movies. You come away from Father of the Bride, Part II feeling fulfilled. It's hard to find warm hearted films these days that aren't sappy or unfunny. The characters and their feelings are genuine, not cinematic cardboard. Although Father's Little Dividend was perhaps more understanding of its subject, and its sentiment therefore more inherent, even the comic scenes in this movie are a product of the film's heart, rather than a counter to it.

The only major flaw is the annoying Martin Short character, who returns again to mar the show. He's not as bad as in the 1991 film, because here's not so frustrating and even has a funny scene. But his character also comprises the film's single momentary saccharine lapse, too, so he balances out on the negative side. I must stress, though, that he mars the film, not ruins it. Father of the Bride, Part II is funny, touching, and highly satisfying, and I recommend it enthusiastically.

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