Our Family Wedding Review
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Anyone who’s gotten married somewhere other than in a Las Vegas wedding chapel or the Justice of the Peace’s office knows that planning a wedding is no easy task. Every day of the process brings more decisions to make, more challenges to face, and more unsolicited opinions from friends and family members. You could say, in fact, that planning a big wedding is the perfect test of a couple’s relationship—because if you can survive the wedding planning, you can survive just about anything. And that’s the whole point of director Rick Famuyiwa’s Our Family Wedding.

When Lucia (America Ferrera) and Marcus (Lance Gross) come home to Los Angeles to visit their families, they arrive with all kinds of surprises. Just the fact that they’re together comes as a surprise to both families—and it’s not a pleasant one, either. Marcus’s dad, radio personality Brad Boyd (Forest Whitaker), and Lucia’s dad, Miguel Ramirez (Carlos Mencia), have already met—under less than ideal circumstances. And the fact that Marcus is African American and Lucia is Latina doesn’t help, either.

  
 
The next surprise, then, is even more unexpected: they’re getting married. Marcus is about to leave for Laos on a year-long assignment with Doctors Without Borders—and he doesn’t want to leave without Lucia.

Though Marcus and Lucia want a small, intimate wedding, their families quickly decide on a big, traditional wedding. As their families (especially their fathers) go head-to-head to plan their dream wedding, the happy couple tries to endure the stress and strain that their families are placing on their relationship.

Anyone who’s ever attempted to plan a big wedding will appreciate the dysfunctional family comedy of Our Family Wedding. The story is definitely predictable (in that formulaic chick flick kind of way), but it’s also entertaining—thanks to Ferrera’s flustered charm and the surprisingly successful pairing of Oscar-winner Whitaker and comedian Mencia. Though you’re sure to have every plot and subplot figured out within the first 20 minutes or so, it’s enjoyable anyway—because the easy-going humor still has a touch of believability.

Still, Our Family Wedding is far from the perfect comedy. In the beginning of the film, the fathers’ racial slurs go a little too far—and the end of the movie drags on much too long. Scattered in between, there are a number of awkward slapstick scenes that take the film’s typically exaggerated reality and crank up the comedy until it’s ridiculous and over-the-top. Sure, you can imagine a couple of families battling it out for control of their children’s wedding. You can understand the bickering and the strained relationships. But throwing a goat into the mix—and then locking him in a room with a bottle of Viagra? Well…that’s just unnecessary (not to mention excruciating to watch).

Despite a handful of cringe-worthy moments, though, Our Family Wedding is a laugh-out-loud comedy about the pressures, expectations, and the petty family drama often involved in planning a wedding. If you’ve planned a big family wedding of your own, you’ll be able to relate. And if you’re in the midst of planning your [family’s] dream wedding, it’ll make you feel better, knowing that your own situation could be a whole lot worse.


Blu-ray Review:
The Blu-ray release of Our Family Wedding isn’t exactly loaded with crazy extras. But while many releases load their special features menu with pointless fluff, these features are actually worth checking out.

For the most part, they’re just the typical extras: a gag reel, a making-of feature, some deleted and extended scenes. But some of the deleted scenes are surprisingly entertaining—especially one featuring an over-the-top wedding planner (pardon me—auteur). The making-of feature (called ’Til Dads Do Us Part) shows some behind-the-scenes fun—like Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia playing off each other. And it even offers an insight or two into relationships, cultural differences, and wedding traditions.

So if you pick up a copy of this underrated little romcom, be sure to take a few minutes to browse the extras—because you’ll find more fights, more awkward moments, more romance, and even a few more laughs.

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