college students Marcus and Lucia make a surprise engagement
announcement, their feuding fathers threaten to turn a dream
wedding into a battle royale. Throw in eccentric relatives
and clashing cultures and you've got a recipe for laugh-out-loud
lunacy - It's an event you can't miss.
Rick Famuyiwa’s comedy “Our Family Wedding” is another tired tale of two feuding families brought together by their children’s nuptials. On one side of the equation is Los Angeles radio DJ Brad Boyd (Forest Whitaker), living in a sprawling bachelor’s pad and romancing a different young woman every night. On the other is tow-truck driver Miguel Ramirez (Carlos Mencia), a traditional family man who has been married for the past 25 years.
As if there were no better way to create a feud between Brad and Miguel, the movie offers a skimpy excuse in the form of Brad’s Jaguar, which Miguel is sent to tow away one day. The two meet again when their children- Brad’s son Marcus and Miguel’s daughter Lucia- return to Los Angeles and announce that they are getting married. To get to that happily-ever-after ending, you know that the two alpha males will bicker and lock horns, until they realise that the matrimonial one-upmanship does little save for denting their children’s happiness.
Much of their squabbling is played as culture clashes between the African-American Brad and the Mexican-American Miguel. Unfortunately, neither Rick nor his two co-writers, Wayne Conley and Malcolm Spellman, manage to make these clashes fresh or interesting, resorting to racial stereotypes for cheap laughs. Miguel’s grandma faints when she sees Marcus; Miguel tricks Marcus to visiting the police station just so he can check if Marcus has any criminal records; and Brad comes up with his own Negro Anthem that he insists the bride and groom sing at all African-American weddings.
If the Latino and black jokes don’t click, neither do the clichéd wedding dilemmas. Marcus and Lucia are reminded of the mantra “our marriage, their wedding” so they get used to their parents making the decisions in their wedding preparations. The families debate where relatives should sit so they don’t grab each other’s throat and choke each other to death. And Marcus gets the pre-wedding jitters, unsure if this marriage is indeed the right one for him. All these family difficulties are just as shallow as the racial epithets and without the conviction to make them at all believable.
The cast too seem equally bored at the proceedings. Carlos Mencia and Forest Whitaker don’t make for particularly convincing rivals, and Whitaker is especially ill-suited for a comedic role like this. The only bright spot is Ugly Betty’s America Ferrara, who summons the best of her bubbly charm to bring some spark of life to her character Lucia. Pity then that her efforts are not reciprocated by Marcus’ Lance Gross, who pretty much wears the same expression throughout the film.
When the film resorts to gags like a goat running amok at the wedding after getting into someone’s Viagra stash, you know the writers are desperate just to make you chuckle. It doesn’t work- and neither does the entire comedy. More than being unfunny, it is also, at 102 minutes, awfully over-long, and the tired, uninspired direction with which Rick mounts this tedious exercise is proof this is a wedding you should skip.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
6 deleted scenes, 2 extended scenes and a gag reel round up the extras on this disc. The deleted and extended scenes are as inconsequential as the movie, while the gag reel isn’t any much funnier.
Though presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, most of the audio in this film is presented front and centre, and you can only hear the score on the back speakers. Visuals are clear and contrasts are well-defined but picture could do with some sharpening.
by Gabriel Chong
on 1 December 2010