Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on July 26th, 2010
There was a time when racial stereotypes on television and in the movies could be very funny. Shows like All In The Family and Sanford And Son brought an entire generation to their knees with laughter. Today audiences are a little more timid when it comes to that kind of humor. This is the kind of movie you end up looking both ways before you think about letting out even the slightest giggle to make sure no one is watching, or worse, training their cell phone camera on you. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to feel like my reactions to my entertainment are under a microscope. Our Family Wedding will make you feel exactly that way. It’s a combination of the Sydney Poitier and Spencer Tracy classic Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (which happened to also feature Louise Jefferson herself, Isabel Sanford) and the original Peter Falk and Alan Arkin The In-Laws. Both of those films are superior to Our Family Wedding in every way imaginable.
Marcus (Gross) and Lucia (Ferrera) are a young couple who presumably met in college. In spite of their cultural difference (he’s black, she’s Mexican) they have decided to get married and move to Laos as volunteers. They are coming back home to L.A. to tell their parents of the impending nuptials. Before they can even make the announcement, the two fathers inadvertently meet. Lucia’s father Miguel (Mencia) runs a towing company and he ends up towing the car of Boyd, Marcus’s father. Of course, at that moment they are unaware that they will meet under entirely different circumstances, namely the dinner engagement announcement of their children. It doesn’t take long for the clashes to begin. The families are separated by race and economic circumstances. Boyd is a divorcee who raised his son on his own, while Lucia was raised by a large extended family. The film quickly settles into all of the wedding-comedy clichés. There are the father clashes, the arguments over wedding plans, the police station scene, the dysfunctional family dynamic and, of course, the “let’s call the whole thing off” moment. Finally, there is the expected disruption at the ceremony itself, in this case mostly caused by a goat on Viagra. Don’t ask.
I’m not all that bothered by the fact that we’ve seen all of this before in superior films. If only the inexperienced writers and equally-inexperienced director would have found something to put their own spin on the genre. The goat just isn’t enough. To make matters worse, we really don’t get any kind of romantic buildup for the young couple. The two share no chemistry at all. I wouldn’t want to be stranded on an island and have to depend on any spark between these two to get my fire going. Both actors fall incredibly flat. They read their lines like they were reciting the grocery list. Usually, these kinds of films work the passion and romance in the intended couple. Here they are merely a vehicle to get Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia into their routines. And that is really the only place where this film has any energy at all. Unfortunately, neither of them are given much to work with. My suspicion that the best gags in the film were improvised between the two was confirmed by the bonus footage on the disc.
Our Family Wedding is presented in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1. The 1080p image is arrived at with an AVC/MPEG-4 codec at an average of 30 mbps. The image presentation is quite natural. Detail levels are particularly present in close-ups of the actors. There is a good deal of texture evident on many of the film’s odd costume choices. Black levels are a little weak here. There isn’t much in the way of shadow definition, causing that level of detail to diminish substantially in the few darkly-lit scenes.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 does offers the typical dialog-centric audio presentation. Surrounds are used quite sparingly, reserved for the mayhem shots of the goat and the wedding spread.
All of the extras are in HD.
Deleted Scenes: (16:57) There are 6 in all including an alternate credit roll. There is a play all option.
Extended Scenes: (4:02) There are 2.
‘Til Dads Do Us Part: (15:02) This is the typical behind-the-scenes stuff. The focus is on the father characters much as the film was.
Gag Reel: (2:40)
This one won’t even make a good rental. There are just too many better examples of the same story, any one of which is worth seeing a second time before resorting to this bland interpretation. The jokes just never get that funny. The film is loaded to the top with plenty of cultural stereotypes. All of that was done in the 70’s. Except then, it was funny. There are a lot of flaws I could go on about, but frankly, “I just don’t want to think about this wedding anymore”.