I was looking forward to seeing this movie ‘Our Family Wedding’, not because of the ‘dream pairing’ of Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia in a wacky comedy but because of the return of director Rick Fumuyima. Mr. Fumuyima directed ‘The Wood’ back in 1999 which was a great little coming of age film and he followed that up three years later with ‘Brown Sugar’ which was a very well done, well crafted semi-romantic comedy. Eight years is an awful long time for a man who is a reasonably successful filmmaker to go between drinks but here he is eight years later with ‘Our Family Wedding’. Nothing but mad love Rick, but I waited eight years for this?
Marcus (Lance Gross) loves Lucia (America Ferrera). That’s cool because young people do fall in love from time to time but this time it’s complicated by the fact that Marcus is African American and Lucia is Mexican American and Black folks and Mexicans hate each other. Well not really, but just stick with it because theoretically some humor is going to flow out of this. Trust me on this one.
Now it’s time to head back home for a big dinner where Dr. Marcus, a graduate of USC med school, will tell his dad Brad (Whitaker) about the upcoming wedding and Columbia Law school dropout Lucia will tell her dad Miguel (Mencia) the same. And hopefully tell him that she’s dropped out of law school. You see these kids haven’t told their parents jack about anything because these are, without a doubt, the most irresponsible kids on the planet earth. Somebody just make a phone call. But trust me comedy theoretically will come out this.
Guess what? Brad and Miguel already know each other. Miguel towed Brad’s illegally parked classic Jag where the two had a few choice racial slurs for each other. Because, in case you didn’t know, Black folks and Mexicans hate each other. Not really, but comedy is will allegedly from this concept.
After the racially charged dinner, fueled by more of Lucia lying to her parents, the parents of both kids are justifiably upset at their children for hiding this stuff from them, but they manage to put all of that aside because there is a wedding to plan and this wedding is going to be big. But there are problems. Brad, a womanizer, might be falling in love with his lawyer Angela (Regina King), but his womanizing ways are difficult to put aside. Carlos is completely neglecting his neglected wife Sonia (Diana Maria Riva), showing more affection to his classic cars than to his woman and finally Marcus is becoming concerned about his fiancé because she does lie an awful lot, to the point that he might have to call the wedding off.
That’s not gonna happen. We need this wedding to happen for the comedy crescendo to take off. Two words. Goat and Viagra. Come on now, if that alone doesn’t make you make you laugh I can’t do anything for you.
Last year there was this comedy called ‘Role Models’. That movie had the same problem going in that ‘Our Family Wedding’ has in that we know it will be formulaic to a fault with the challenge for the filmmakers to find a way to work within this rote formula to make a decent comedy. It worked in ‘Role Models’, but it didn’t work here. I would be lying if I told you I watched this movie with a stone face because there were times it did make me laugh. Taye Diggs, tragically in only one scene, probably had the funniest bit in the movie, and the visualization of the wedding seating arrangement was also very funny. But for a movie that bills itself as a comedy, that’s not nearly enough comedy for it be a successful comedy. Far too much of the staged comedy bits just didn’t work. The racial bits simply were not funny. Shockingly the horny goat running through the wedding humping Forest Whitaker wasn’t funny. Most everything with Carlos Mencia in it, a comedian by trade, wasn’t funny. Most everything with Forest Whitaker in it wasn’t funny either, but we give him a slight pass since he’s not a comedian. But he does have one of those gold statues over his fireplace so maybe he should’ve found a way to be funny.
Lance Gross made for a great straight man, though nobody really followed up on his straight man talents with legitimate comedy, and the relationship between his character and American Ferrera’s Lucia was the best thing going on in this movie, but that wasn’t funny, that was drama. This was a comedy.
Needless to say ‘Our Family Wedding’ was a little bit of a disappointment. A few funny bits here and there, a little drama, and a little Warren Sapp all added up to a pretty sorry comedy.