In my book the ’91 Fatherof the Bride is kind of a masterpiece. It’s a beautiful story about parents and their kids growing through this very common yet deeply personal and cherished event. It’s a perfect setup and the execution is superb.
The original 1950 version just blows. I still can’t get over how goddamn gloomy it is. What’s even more surprising is that director Charles Shyer said that he and everyone involved in the ’91 version didn’t refer to the original or the book very much because they wanted to make their own film. This is an insane statement considering how much material the two movies share. I mean they should’ve been the same fuckin’ movie. But through only a few tweaks, like having the daughter be more of a strong independent woman and the father eventually relenting in his dickishness, you get an entirely different outcome.
The elimination of a genuinely frightening nightmare sequence from the original was also probably a good idea.
As for the sequels, neither needed to be made. Fatherof the Bride Part II is the better between the two though. Story-wise it’s actually worse than the streamlined Dividend but there were one or two times when I laughed and it doesn’t treat its characters nastily like Kay and the baby are sometimes.