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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: Our Family Wedding

July 14th, 2010

Our Family Wedding - Buy from Amazon: DVD or Blu-ray

Our Family Wedding takes the very familiar theme of an upcoming wedding and adds in an interracial twist. However, and here's the real twist, instead of there being one white person and one black person, it's one black person and one Hispanic. Is this enough to set it apart? Or will this one point of originality be lost in a sea of mediocrity?

At the beginning of the film we meet the lucky couple in love: America Ferrera and Lance Gross. He's a recent graduate of medical school who is about to go to Laos to help the poor. She was a law student at Columbia university, but recently dropped out so she can follow her soon to be husband. They are returning to L.A. to tell their families all of this, but it could be tough. Neither family knows their child is getting married, and they certainly don't know that it would be an interracial marriage. It's going to be an uncomfortable first dinner together.

And that's really it for the plot. The rest of the movie involves these two families feuding over their differences before the inevitable and undeserved warm conclusion. The respective fathers (Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) provide most of the conflict, which starts when they accidentally meet when the latter is towing the former's sports car. This scene actually encapsulates the film rather well. There were a series of events that led to this major coincidence happening. (Had Forest Whitaker not parked his car illegally, this would not have happened. Had Carlos Mencia not had to do the job himself instead of sending one of his many employees, they would not have met. Had he not been out of practice at this aspect of the job, he would have towed the car before Forest returned and they would have never met.) Someone arguing about they car getting towed is not exactly an original idea. The quick escalation in the disagreement to include a racial angle seems forced and not natural. The script is full of these convoluted plot points that lead to forced conflict and cliché-laden results. I could have used this as an example, or I could have used the scene where Carlos Mencia drives his son-in-law-to-be to the police station to do a fingerprint check. A similar scene was done better in Meet the Parents, and the end of the scene was obvious right from the beginning. (I won't spoil it here.)

And at this point, if your script has a Viagra joke, it is time to rethink your movie.

The actors as a whole are not able to rise above the material. America Ferrera is charming as ever, while Anjelah N. Johnson, who plays her sister, is good. Forest Whitaker seems like he is sleepwalking through his part. And quite frankly, I don't think Carlos Mencia has the acting skill to handle any of the dramatic scenes in the film while Charlie Murphy can't even handle the comedy. A more subtle approach would have been better.

Perhaps the movie is not as bad as its Tomatometer Score would indicate, but at best it is mediocre and it frequently fails to reach that level.

I only have a DVD-R screener of the movie, but it appears to have all of the extras that will be on the final product. These include half-a-dozen deleted scenes (including an alternate ending), a couple extended scenes, and a few minutes of outtakes. Granted, the film struggled at the box office, but I was still expecting more than this.

I do not have the Blu-ray, yet, but it appears to have an exclusive making-of featurette, plus a digital copy of the movie. It does cost less than 30% more than the DVD, so it is a reasonable price.

Last Minute Update: The Blu-ray just arrived and there are exclusive extras starting with a 15-minute making-of / behind-the-scenes featurette called Till Dads Do You Part. It's heavy on the interviews, but also includes a good deal of behind-the-scenes footage. It obviously doesn't push the boundaries of the format, but it is still nice to have. As for the film's technical presentation, the video are solid with crisp colors and sharp details, but this is not a film that is a visual feast. Likewise, outside of a couple of scenes, the audio is very front-heavy; however, the dialogue is clear and for this type of film, I have no real complaints.

The Verdict

Our Family Wedding has at its heart an idea that could have worked, but almost nothing in the movie does live up to its potential. There are precious few extras on either the DVD or the Blu-ray, which further erodes its value. If you are a fan of some of the actors, it is worth no more than a rental. Otherwise, you can safely give this one a pass.

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Filed under: Video Review, Our Family Wedding