Starring: Spencer Tracy, Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Running Time: 92 mins
Father Of The Bride is an American film about a man who experiences the ups and downs of seeing his beloved daughter marry.
A really lovely movie with a sweet heart, Father Of The Bride takes heartfelt, intimate drama and pleasant comedy to tell a very true story about marriage, and the ways in which it can change the lives of so many people beyond the bride and groom.
Featuring the always-delightful Spencer Tracy in the lead role and a young Elizabeth Taylor as his daughter, there’s no shortage of talent on screen here, and the strength of the performances in this film is a large part of what makes it such a sweetly enjoyable watch.
Tracy in particular is wonderful, giving a very genuine performance that I think anybody can relate to. He’s a loving father who’s just as concerned about his daughter’s wellbeing and future as he is how her leaving will change his comfortable home life (as well as how her wedding will eat into his finances).
The blend of comedy and drama as we see Tracy at first reluctantly engage in the wedding preparations because of both financial and emotional reasons taps into a very genuine look at marriage, and doesn’t merely paint it as the fairy tale story that many make it out to be.
However, with sweet and kind-hearted motivations for all characters across the board, there’s a wonderfully relatable element to the story at hand here, and it’s more than enough to make you smile throughout.
Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett and Elizabeth Taylor work wonderfully as an archetypal nuclear family, and that plays into the sadness that the father figure feels at seeing it broken up by a marriage that sees his daughter leave home for good.
Of course, while ultimately happy to see how marriage makes his daughter happy, it’s both funny and sweet to see Tracy wrestle with the difficult and very real emotions of seeing a child leave the nest, but also touching to see how he ultimately deals with it in a measured and very real way.
Father Of The Bride is a sweet, grounded comedy that never goes overboard with sappy emotion or silly comedy. It’s not a laugh-out-loud hilarious watch, but it’s also a genuinely touching story with a sweet heart that makes it truly wonderful to watch. So, that’s why I’m giving it a 7.3 overall.