Thursday, March 11, 2010

Film Yap: Our Family Wedding

I’m not entirely convinced that Our Family Wedding is a movie. Yes, it’s in theatres but did it mean to be? It looks a lot like a bad soon-to-be canceled sitcom and there were a lot of moments where I think they were pausing for laugh tracks. SPOILER: There were no laugh tracks.

The plot is a very odd one. A couple that is devoid of personality and chemistry are engaged. One is played by America Ferrera and the other is played by Lance Gross. That’s right! One is Mexican and the other is African-American. Don’t jump the gun. They go home to inform their families about their engagement, but it turns out their families are unlikeable and racist. Now the conflict starts. Their respected fathers (Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) already hate each other before this announcement was made. See Mencia towed Whitaker’s car when it was in a no-parking zone. They argued and said racist things. Hilarity forgot to ensue.

So for some sort of power struggle the two families keep interfering with the wedding. They fight over the cake and the traditions, but mostly they fight over the fact that one family is black and the other is Mexican. When Guess Who Came to Dinner? came out is was well received but there was still questions of its social relevancy. With this movie it is already feels dated. It is difficult to root or tolerate characters that are this boring and insensitive.

Aside from that all of the humor falls flat. The dads are constantly trying to be the last to sit down in an embarrassing competition. There is a powerfully random softball game that is mishandled. I don’t know a whole lot about sports, but I know you don’t pitch to your own team and you don’t slide into first. Then, of course, we have the rampaging goat that gets doped up on Viagra. None of these moments flow well into the story and pathetically feel like “Here’s a comedy set-piece. Please laugh!”

So much of this movie feels incomplete. Scenes are abruptly cut off before the main conflict arises. For example in a painful scene where Mencia accidently destroys Whitaker’s bathroom, the audience was waiting for something to come of this. Whitaker to come in and get angry or something. Instead they cut away before anything is fixed and never mention it again. Sometimes scenes don’t have any relevancy. Sometimes I have no idea what day it is. This may just be one of the worst edited films I’ve seen in my life.

There’s further confusion as the movie seems to push an anti-romance agenda and then riddles the film with sayings even Hallmark would reject. The movie feels like a complete mess, but there really isn’t anything worth salvaging.

1 Yap.

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