Baby Boom Causes Trouble for the Banks
Although I enjoyed the first "Father of the Bride", not the original rather the Steve Martin remake it had its flaws, most notably that it was overly sentimental. Well nothing has really changed for the expected sequel, I say expected because the 1950 "Father of the Bride" had a sequel called "Father's Little Dividend" so "Father of the Bride Part II" was not a shock. Whilst this sequel still suffers from being obviously over schmaltzy it manages to take the theme from the original sequel and expanding on it, giving it an extra element which at times works whilst at others doesn't.
Having got over the trauma of his daughters wedding, as well as the expense, George (Steve Martin - Leap of Faith) has a new bunch of issues to deal with when his daughter Annie (Kimberly Williams - Indian Summer) announces that she is pregnant. The unexpected news causes George to go into denial about his age and in the midst of a semi crisis sells the family home. But it's not just one pregnancy which George has to contend with but two as his wife Nina (Diane Keaton - Baby Boom) unexpectedly falls pregnant as well.
For what is basically another remake "Father of the Bride Part II" does a good job of taking the essence of the original, the issues George has with accepting imminent grand parenthood, and then adding to them with his own impending parenthood again. It's a nice twist which adds a little extra to the movie to make it not completely plain sailing. Although as you would expect "Father of the Bride Part II" is in no way complex, keeping it all simple and playing for laughs whilst treading down the autumnal path of sentimentality.
There lies the major flaw which makes both "Father of the Bride Part II" and it's predecessor slightly tacky because it revels in schmaltz. There are few scenes in the movie which don't deliver some sort of sentimentality, be it remembering playing basketball with Annie for the first time or when George realises his mistake in selling the house. But because there is so much of it, it lacks the desired effect of delivering romanticized nostalgia instead coming across as forced and frankly at times quite annoying.
But despite all the over sentimentality "Father of the Bride Part II" still delivers on the laughs with Steve Martin masterfully reprising his role of George Banks. It's another good performance from Martin and with the added storyline relating to his growing years allows him to have more fun, often at his own expense. Elsewhere Diane Keaton and Kimberly Williams return as Nina and Annie respectively delivering the same warm performances they did in the first as does Kieran Culkin as Matty. Also returning in all his over the top camp ness is Martin Short who is hilarious as ever as Franck Eggelhoffer.
What this all boils down to is that "Father of the Bride Part II" is exactly what you expect, it's friendly, fun but also a little forgettable. It suffers because it's reliance on often forced sentimentality ends up grating but then with a nice twist on the original sequel and with more comedy fun from both Steve Martin and Martin short it will bring more than a few laughs during it's reasonable 106 minute running time.