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Movie Review: Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt deserve more than Netflix’s ‘Mother of the Bride’



Movie Review: Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt deserve more than Netflix's ‘Mother of the Bride’

Romantic comedies are in a vacation spot marriage ceremony rut. Maybe it’s a collective post-COVID wanderlust kicking in, or, extra cynically, some mixture of tax credit and a spot producers wish to spend time. However between “ Ticket to Paradise,” “Anybody However You,” “ Shotgun Marriage ceremony ” and now Netflix’s “ Mom of the Bride,” the vanity is beginning to curdle.

The issue is larger than the setting, after all. There’s solely a lot heavy lifting a picturesque location, photogenic our bodies and enviable resort outfits can do to make up for a lame story. Additionally, the attraction of an out-of-reach travelogue is proscribed on this age of influencers dwelling wildly extravagant existence across the clock on Instagram and TikTok (to not point out the sharp methods “White Lotus” has skewered and luxuriated in these worlds).

“Mom of the Bride,” now streaming on Netflix, wonders what would possibly occur should you discover out a number of days earlier than the marriage that your child (Miranda Cosgrove) is marrying the offspring of the man who broke your coronary heart. That’s what occurs to Brooke Shields’ Lana. She arrives in Phuket, Thailand, for her daughter’s marriage ceremony, meets the groom (Sean Teale), turns round and sees that his father is her faculty ex, Will (Benjamin Bratt). Barely a minute passes earlier than they each fall right into a pond.

Later, she’ll stroll in on him rising from the bathe, hit him in a delicate spot taking part in pickleball and, after they’ve made some progress, overhear the flawed dialog on the flawed time. This can be a film that’s adhering to some type of romantic comedy guidelines, however whose components add as much as little or no ultimately.

Our tolerance for a foolish set-up in a romantic comedy is often fairly beneficiant if we’re given a intelligent, charming script and genuine feelings. Simply consider how ridiculous so lots of the greats sound on paper, from “Sabrina” to “Sleepless in Seattle”? Is it honest to match “Mom of the Bride” to Nora Ephron and Billy Wilder? Perhaps not, nevertheless it by no means hurts to concentrate on a North Star, which veterans like screenwriter Robin Bernheim Burger and director Mark Waters little question are. Simply take a look at the title. This film even has a romantic foil in a youthful physician (Chad Michael Murray) who’s smitten with Lana, which might’t assist however remind of Keanu Reeves in Nancy Meyers’ “One thing’s Gotta Give.”

However that is so wildly contrived from the beginning that you just by no means get to that second the place you’re having fun with it sufficient to cease asking questions, like did Lana by no means google Will within the 20 years they’ve been aside and discover out that he’s a wildly wealthy and profitable businessman? Or why would a serious company supply an intern who has a barely maintained life-style Instagram that she began freshman yr of faculty “six figures” to assist promote their luxurious resorts? Why are we speculated to root for these younger folks with seemingly infinite sources (considered one of their marriage ceremony presents in a multimillion Tribeca loft) who conform to get married in a month as a result of a model asks them to? Perhaps extra basically, did the children and a marriage should be concerned on this story in any respect? Does it make the concept of Will and Lana getting again collectively too bizarre to be enjoyable? Couldn’t they’ve merely run into each other at a resort?

I received’t go as far as to say that “Mom of the Bride” appears like an AI creation nevertheless it does really feel at the least just a little stitched collectively from items of different romantic comedies of various high quality. Why solid a succesful comic like Rachel Harris as the very best pal solely to have her say strains like “Is he on the menu”? Or give Wilson Cruz so little to do as Will’s brother?

And it’s a disgrace, too, as a result of Shields and Bratt got here able to play, to fall within the pond and be minimally clothed for comedy’s sake. There have to be a brand new technology of romantic comedy writers and administrators who grew up on Ephron and Meyers on the market and are prepared to provide us one thing that’s business and shiny but additionally sensible and enjoyable to revisit (ahem, keep in mind “Set It Up”?). Perhaps they only should be given a shot.

“Mom of the Bride,” a Netflix launch streaming Thursday, is rated TV-PG. Working time: 90 minutes. One and a half stars out of 4.

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