Film Review: Our Family Wedding

Our Family Wedding is a formulaic but fairly amusing culture-clash rom-com. What differentiates it from other films of this nature is the fact that none of the protagonists are white; instead a Latino family clashes with an African-American one, over the wedding of their children.

Lucia and Marcus are madly in love and want to get married before they go abroad to work. The problem is neither of their families know about this. When they decide to reveal all at a joint family dinner, sparks fly…

Our Family Wedding is pretty much what one would expect from a film like this: humour based on cultural and racial stereotypes, a few prickly bumps for the star-crossed lovers, and the inevitable happy ending. Director Rick Famuyiwa does a fair job in creating an amusing film, though there is nothing too remarkable, as far as the narrative goes.

Hollywood heavyweight Forest Whitaker gives an adequate performance in a film that requires little effort, in all honesty. Elsewhere, Carlos Mencia, Regina King and Lance Gross are believable in their respective roles. It is America Ferrera who disappoints, bringing very little to the Lucia character.

Though the young couple may seem like the focal point, it is really their two fathers who take centre stage in this film. Their initial clash and one-upmanship are what provide most of the laughs in this comedy. Much of this feuding transcends race/culture, making the humour accessible to all.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about Our Family Wedding is the paucity of white characters. Whilst films featuring non-white protagonists often have at least a white friend or sidekick,  Famuyiwa’s film completely omits white characters, save for a few extras. Thus, Our Family Wedding exhibits that a mainstream Hollywood film can be multicultural, yet does not need to feature obligatory white characters. It is an interesting role-reversal of the dominant ideology. It’s just a pity that the point couldn’t have been made by a more compelling or memorable film.

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