Film Scouts Reviews

"Father of the Bride Part II"

by Kathleen Carroll

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If you are the kind of person who gets weepy at the sight of an absolutely divine $12,000 baby nursery than "Father of the Bride Part II" is simply made to order for you. Director Charles Shyer and his wife and co-writer Nancy Meyer have carefully manufactured a sequel to their 1991 comedy hit "Father of the Bride" that should not only appeal to interior decorators but to Hollywood's toughest critic - Senator Robert Dole. For even the senator should respond favorably to this movie with its stress on family values and its quaint 50's style romanticism.

George Banks, the movie's good-natured hero, speaks directly to the audience from the living room of his Leave It to Beaver vintage dreamhouse. Having obviously paid for his daughter's wedding he's the picture of upper middle class contentment, a man who's ready to simply enjoy his new freedom from parental worries. It should probably be pointed out that Banks has an adolescent son whom he barely seems to notice.

Banks is all smiles until his daughter, Annie, tells him her news. He's to be a grandfather. The shock sends Banks racing to the nearest beauty salon to have his grey hair dyed. He then seduces his wife, Nora, on the floor of their model kitchen.

A few weeks later these aging baby boomers are confronted with yet another plot twist. "Kids you're going to have a baby," the doctor informs the Banks. As if a late-life pregnancy wasn't enough for the Banks to face they bump into their former wedding coordinator - the frenetic Franck Egglehoffer. "It's the father of the braid," exclaims Franck whose English has not improved.

There are all two few surprises in this lovey dovey sequel which takes most of its cues from the 1951 movie "Father's Little Dividend." Steve Martin endears himself as the reluctant but ultimately courageous father of another dividend. Diane Keaton manages to look properly radiant and maternal as Nora. Martin Short does another of his wild and crazy turns as Franck, mangling his dialogue with a shrill exuberance. He's screamingly funny at one particular point when he attempts to deliver a sleeping Banks to the hospital in time for the double feature birth sequence. Eventually the movie turns to pure mush as two of the most adorable infants even seen on camera easily steal the show.

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