As far as pandemic pop culture Zoom reunions go, the one for Father of the Bride may be the best.
That isn’t to say it isn’t corny or occasionally clunky. It is, at times excessively so. But original writer/director Nancy Meyers has produced the most effective Zoomcast reunion yet, complete with actual production value beyond just getting actors to find the best rooms at their individual homes.
Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Keiran Culkin, and George Newbern are all back after twenty-five years for Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish), a half-hour sequel produced by Netflix and streaming on three major platforms: theirs, YouTube, and Facebook.
Set in 2020, the Banks family finds themselves in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic along with everyone else, which means social distancing requires them to hang out via Zoom. Meyers’ script and the cast’s chemistry conjures the charm of the two original films quite effortlessly, along with new cast members Florence Pugh (Little Women) and Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) who play, respectively, the now-grown children of Martin and Keaton’s George & Nina (Pugh) and Paisley and Newborn’s Annie & Bryan (Platt) who were born on the same day at the end of the previous 1995 sequel.
The family Zoom-together — in which the domestic backdrops of each family member befits what you’d expect from gorgeously designed interiors of all Meyers movies — ultimatley becomes something much bigger (this is a FOTB mini-movie, after all). That turn ends up bringing back Martin Short‘s classic event-planner Franck, plus two new additions (one being a major cameo coup).
Yes, it’s super-schmaltzy, but Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish) is the saccharine balm we all could use right now. Get ready to roll your eyes and wipe tears away from them with this special fall season treat, best watched on your TV (rather than your computer or phone), just like you would any proper movie.
In a year of depleted movie experiences, Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish) comes along as a very nice and welcome surprise.