Our Family Wedding

Cast:
Forest Whitaker as Brad Boyd
America Ferrera as Lucia Ramirez
Carlos Mencia as Miguel Ramirez
Regina King as Angela
Lance Gross as Marcus Boyd
Diana-Maria Riva as Sonia Ramirez
Lupe Ontiveros as Momma Cecilia
Anjelah Johnson as Isabella Ramirez

Review:
Lucia (America Ferrera) and Marcus (Lance Gross) are young and in love, and they’re getting ready to do what any young couple will. Get married and move to Laos to help disadvantaged third world citizens. But before they can do that, they have to tell their parents.

Take any wedding comedy since the original “Father of the Bride,” mix liberally with “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” and you’ve just about got “Our Family Wedding.”

Lucia and Marcus both come from well-to-do Los Angeles families, but that’s about where the similarities end. Marcus was raised almost single-handedly by his playboy radio personality father (Forest Whitaker) while Lucia comes from a very traditional Hispanic clan who aren’t entirely thrilled she hasn’t found a nice Hispanic boy to settle down with.

Rick Famuyiwa’s (“The Wood”) wedding comedy is about as rote as the rest of his work, which is probably why it got made. He specializes in very conventional films with well worn plots that are easy for studios and audiences to understand.

That doesn’t mean “Our Family Wedding” is entirely without charm. Conventional isn’t necessarily the end of the world. A good cast can make something out of it and Famuyiwa’s has got some good actors to work with. Ferrera is as spunky and fun as usual and Anjelah Johnson is a surprising treat as her sarcastic younger sister.

However, despite the fact that the plot revolves around the young couple’s wedding, it’s not really about them; it’s about their parents letting go and moving on. Whitaker does a decent enough job as a successful man who never entirely grew up, especially in his scenes with Regina King as his oldest friend. They’re story line is a predictable as you can imagine but they actually make it work out of sheer chemistry.

It’s all for naught though because so much time is given over to Carlos Mencia, who sucks the life out of every frame of film he’s in. No matter how ridiculous or stressful or emotional the scene may be, Mencia is only capable of delivering in the same dreadful monotone.

The rest of “Our Family Wedding” isn’t terrible, just extremely uninspired. If you’ve never seen a screwball family comedy before it’s not a bad introduction, and it will certainly introduce you to some of the standards like the overbearing grandmother, the whipped husband whose wife constantly calls him, and the accidental destruction of a host’s bathroom. Even a gag with a goat that accidentally takes an overdose of Viagra is far less funny than it sounds, nor is the dialogue remotely good enough to smooth out the film’s tepid conception. When all the tension comes from trying to figure out if the filmmakers are going to do the most obvious thing or not, that’s not much in the way of storytelling.

Except for Mencia, who should never be allowed near a camera again, “Our Family Wedding” isn’t particularly awful, but that’s about the best that can be said about it.

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