HBO Go review: 'Father of the Bride' gets a Latino remake

Fred Hawson

Posted at Jun 25 2022 06:22 AM

Andy Garcia is the 'Father of the Bride' in this new remake of the Hollywood classic
Andy Garcia is the 'Father of the Bride' in this new remake of the Hollywood classic

Prominent Miami architect Billy Herrera (Andy Garcia) and his wife Ingrid (Gloria Estefan) had two daughters. They were Sofia (Adria Arjona), now an attorney beginning her practice in New York City, and Cora (Isabela Merced), who wanted to start her own fashion business instead of going to college. However, for the past year, their marriage was on the rocks and the marriage counseling was not working, and fed-up Ingrid wanted a divorce. 

They planned to announce it to their daughters when Sofia came home to Miami for a visit. However, Sofia beat them to the punch by announcing that she was already engaged to be married to a fellow young lawyer Adan Castillo (Diego Boneta) and was planning to get married in one month before opening their own law firm in Mexico. Shell-shocked Billy had difficulty accepting how the couple wanted their wedding to be done.

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This story of a father having trouble accepting that his daughter was already getting married already had two prior cinematic incarnations before. The first film (Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Actor and Screenplay) was released in 1950 with Spencer Tracy as the father and Elizabeth Taylor as his daughter. There was then a beloved comedy remake in 1991, starring Steve Martin as the father with Kimberly Williams as his daughter.

This new Latino version was quite a serious affair than what most people (especially fans of the humorous 1991 film) may be expecting, what with a cheerless Andy Garcia (who had an Al Pacino Godfather vibe going on) as the curmudgeonly father. He disappointment about Sofia and Adan eschewing a traditional church wedding and grand reception was doubled when Adan's ostentatiously rich father Hernan (Pedro Damian) was stealing his thunder.

It was great seeing Gloria Estefan again, though it was too bad she did not get to hear her sing. It was unfortunate that SNL comedian Chloe Fineman's wedding coordinator Natalie Vance was not as memorable as Martin Short's Franck Eggelhoffer. 

This remake was not entirely necessary of course, but a daughter's wedding will be a timeless source of anxiety, drama and conflict for all fathers, generation after generation. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."