Mother of the Bride: Rom-Com Arrives on Netflix

(L-R) Miranda Cosgrove as Emma and Brooke Shields as Lana in Mother of the Bride. Photo credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024.

Mother of the Bride is the latest romantic comedy to make its arrival on Netflix and it adds its own twist to the rom-com genre.

The premise of this film is simple: Lana’s (Brooke Shields) daughter, Emma (Miranda Cosgrove), comes home from London with the shocking news that she’s engaged to RJ (Sean Teale). Never mind that it’s going to be a destination wedding a month later in Phuket, Thailand! No, the mic drop comes when Lana meets RJ only to learn that his father, Will (Benjamin Bratt). This is the same Will that broke her heart while she was in college. The moment that Lana sees college friend Scott (Wilson Cruz) is the moment in which she should know she’s in for a shock. If RJ isn’t Scott’s son, then whose son is he. right? Of course, her subsequent reaction makes for quite the comedic moment. There are many of those in the film.

It’s the second go around on Netflix for Mean Girls filmmaker Mark Waters. Waters previously directed He’s All That for the platform. Screenwriter Robin Bernheim Burger is no stranger either, having written The Princess Switch trilogy. The film couldn’t be more different from the Vanessa Hudgens series. The characters are fun to hang out with but it feels like a one-off. This is fine because not everything needs a sequel. Should a sequel arise, it would need to serve the story. But I digress.

(L-R) Brooke Shields as Lana and Benjamin Bratt as Will in Mother of the Bride.
(L-R) Brooke Shields as Lana and Benjamin Bratt as Will in Mother of the Bride. Photo credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024.

Brooke Shields takes on the role after getting the Hulu documentary treatment. She still has the comedy chops that she showed off many years ago in Suddenly Susan. The chemistry between Shields and co-star Benjamin Bratt is undeniable. The humor just writes itself but the film never l0ses our attention as we try and figure out will they or won’t they. While Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) has an interest in Lana, the feelings between Lana and Will have risen back to the surface. The jokes can sometimes feel predictable but it’s to just sit back, relax, and see where the film is taking us.

Will Mother of the Bride get lost in the Netflix algorithm? It’s a good question. It doesn’t feel like a forgettable film but it doesn’t do enough to be unforgettable either. There’s enough funny gags–comedy is subjective but I don’t have to tell you this–to charm audiences and an undeniable chemistry with its cast that just might be enough to prop it into the top ten. It’s not an unforgettable film. Some jokes probably play better in a communal setting rather than in a glorified TV movie.

DIRECTOR: Mark Waters
SCREENWRITER: Robin Bernheim Burger
CAST: Brooke Shields, Miranda Cosgrove, Sean Teale, Chad Michael Murray with Rachael Harris and Benjamin Bratt, Michael McDonald, Wilson Cruz, Tasneem Roc, Dalip Sondhi

Netflix releases Mother of the Bride on May 9, 2024. Grade: 3/5

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Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.