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View Full Version : "Father of the Bride"(1991)--Did Mr. Banks have a point?


statsman1982
04-21-2011, 09:59 PM
No boxed spoilers because the movie is a 20 year old remake.

I'm watching this movie, which I've seen dozens of times over the years, but this time is different. On tonight's viewing, I'm having a very different reaction than I have had in the past.

God help me, but I sympathize with George. In the movie, the Banks are depicted as upper middle class, far less wealthy than their future son-in-law's family who lives in Bel Aire. George's daughter wants a big wedding, which I suppose I understand, but at $250/head and over 500 guests, that was over $125,000. In today's money, that's over $200,000. Later in the movie, George's wife (Diane Keaton) tells George that they could afford it because she doesn't drive an expensive car or wear expensive jewelry. But still--one gets the idea that this wedding is really going to set the Banks back by a lot.

The writers' intention, I think, is to create a romantic comedy with George as the uptight, worrying father who just needs to get the stick out of his ass and "go with the flow" (a quote from the movie), even though his concerns about budget are valid by any reasonable standard. To really drive the point home, the writers put in a scene with George picking up a magazine off of his sleeping daughter's chest. She's been reading an article in a bridal mag about how to have a wedding on a budget. The purpose of this scene is to show that George is a real jerk for being concerned about money. Heaven forbid they try to save money on a wedding by hiring a friend take the pictures. And how dare George balk at paying for 8 round-trip tickets from Denmark so his future son-in-law's family can come over, because it's tradition donchaknow that the bride's family pays for everything.

Furthermore, George's very real concerns about the wedding planner's costly decisions are pitched as George just being a stick in the mud. Of course! Just let the planners do whatever the fuck they want, because it's a wedding, and Daddy's Little Girl deserves it Moving all the furniture out to bring in chairs, renting swans, and drilling holes in the ceiling, buying new tuxes, etc--all just run-of-the-mill wedding stuff.

I would feel so guilty about making my parents spend this much on a wedding, and I'm really wondering if I'm the only one. Obviously, the movie was a hit, so it rang true to a lot of people.

Am I alone here?

Palo Verde
04-21-2011, 10:19 PM
Of course he's totally right. That is a ridiculous amount to pay for a single day in someone's life. You could buy a house for that, and that will last you a lifetime. It's a waste of money, and worse even, a huge waste of someone else's money.

RickJay
04-21-2011, 10:23 PM
Only Hollywood screenwriters would portray a middle class man being asked to pay $125,000 for a wedding as being the bad guy.

kaylasdad99
04-21-2011, 10:25 PM
He wasn't the "bad guy," per se. He was the buffoonish victim.

statsman1982
04-21-2011, 10:38 PM
It's just amazing to me that movies like this are a hit.

Maybe the times have just changed that much. Most of the women I know today would prefer to have a do-it-yourself wedding. Anecdotal, I know, but in all the weddings I've been a guest at, I can't think of a single one that used a professional photographer. There was always some friend who took the pictures.

In fact, with most of the women I've known, it would be a point of pride to pull of an elegant, but inexpensive wedding. Have times really changed that much in only 20 years?

ETA: In the interest of extending the reach of this thread a bit, I'd be interested to know about others' experiences with this phenomenon: Watching a movie you've seen a bunch of times and having a completely different reaction to it than you've had in the past.

jayjay
04-21-2011, 10:41 PM
In fact, with most of the women I've known, it would be a point of pride to pull of an elegant, but inexpensive wedding. Have times really changed that much in only 20 years?

I think people are paying for their own weddings more now, since probably the majority of marrying couples are already living together and sharing their life expenses, rather than the bride still living with her parents and being supported by them. So yes, it has changed a lot in 20 years.

joebuck20
04-21-2011, 10:48 PM
No boxed spoilers because the movie is a 20 year old remake.

I'm watching this movie, which I've seen dozens of times over the years, but this time is different. On tonight's viewing, I'm having a very different reaction than I have had in the past.

God help me, but I sympathize with George. In the movie, the Banks are depicted as upper middle class, far less wealthy than their future son-in-law's family who lives in Bel Aire. George's daughter wants a big wedding, which I suppose I understand, but at $250/head and over 500 guests, that was over $125,000. In today's money, that's over $200,000. Later in the movie, George's wife (Diane Keaton) tells George that they could afford it because she doesn't drive an expensive car or wear expensive jewelry. But still--one gets the idea that this wedding is really going to set the Banks back by a lot.

The writers' intention, I think, is to create a romantic comedy with George as the uptight, worrying father who just needs to get the stick out of his ass and "go with the flow" (a quote from the movie), even though his concerns about budget are valid by any reasonable standard. To really drive the point home, the writers put in a scene with George picking up a magazine off of his sleeping daughter's chest. She's been reading an article in a bridal mag about how to have a wedding on a budget. The purpose of this scene is to show that George is a real jerk for being concerned about money. Heaven forbid they try to save money on a wedding by hiring a friend take the pictures. And how dare George balk at paying for 8 round-trip tickets from Denmark so his future son-in-law's family can come over, because it's tradition donchaknow that the bride's family pays for everything.

Furthermore, George's very real concerns about the wedding planner's costly decisions are pitched as George just being a stick in the mud. Of course! Just let the planners do whatever the fuck they want, because it's a wedding, and Daddy's Little Girl deserves it Moving all the furniture out to bring in chairs, renting swans, and drilling holes in the ceiling, buying new tuxes, etc--all just run-of-the-mill wedding stuff.

I would feel so guilty about making my parents spend this much on a wedding, and I'm really wondering if I'm the only one. Obviously, the movie was a hit, so it rang true to a lot of people.

Am I alone here?


Keep in mind the $125,000 covered just the cost of the reception and presumably didn't include the dresses, tuxedos, wedding bands, church rental, and the aforementioned round trip tickets from Denmark for the groom's relatives (and accommodations for them).

I saw this movie shortly after it came out, and again a few years ago, right after I got married and it really hit home. Granted we didn't spend anywhere near the amount the couple did in the movie (we only had about 40 guests, mostly family). But those expenses quickly add up. Anyway my wife's family wasn't (and still isn't) doing too well financially, so I knew they weren't going to be able to chip in much - they got a family friend to do the catering and paid for a photographer. I wasn't comfortable asking my parents, though they too chipped in little, basically enough to cover the cost of the reception hall, a local Shriner's building. My wife and I paid for pretty much everything else.

Anyway I've always kind of sided with Steve Martin's character and thought the daughter was kind of a spoiled brat.

jayjay
04-21-2011, 10:55 PM
And, while I sympathize with Steve Martin's character, there was a bit of good old dick-measuring going on there, too, IIRC. He was trying to prove that he could provide at least as well as the groom's father could, with his bigger bank account, and let himself be cornered into paying more than he wanted to in order to keep up appearances.

statsman1982
04-21-2011, 11:00 PM
Yes, she was very bratty. Especially during that scene where George, very reasonably, requested that the guest list be trimmed down to 100 or so people. He involved Mom, the daughter, and even his young son in the process, but Little Princess ends up storming off.

I very rarely have strong negative reactions to movies, so this is very odd. The movie ended a little while ago, and I"m still thinking about it.

Freudian Slit
04-21-2011, 11:03 PM
Side point but the main character in Father of the Bride is George Banks? Just like the father in Mary Poppins!

statsman1982
04-21-2011, 11:24 PM
Side point but the main character in Father of the Bride is George Banks? Just like the father in Mary Poppins!

<checks IMDB>

So it is!

And Mary Poppins is probably a much better movie (haven't seen it in years).

Postariti
04-22-2011, 03:09 AM
I loved this movie, but even at the time I sided with the father. I felt like he was the only sane one in a sea of crazy people. Someone mentioned the magazine his daughter was reading. It mentioned - GASP! - the bride making her own dress. The shame! Except, in my family, everyone is stunned and impressed if the bride makes her own dress.

Alessan
04-22-2011, 03:40 AM
Is it customary for the bride's side to cover the entire cost of the wedding? And if so, has anyone told Kate Middleton's parents?

Ferret Herder
04-22-2011, 05:50 AM
In the US, that's the old tradition. I'm sure it's a holdover from the old dowry traditions - women used to also have a hope chest (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope_chest) full of linens and the like for their future marriage, and that only died out within the last couple generations or so. There's still some expectation - or that the groom's parents aren't going to cover much, at least - but it's really falling out of favor.

I got married in 1997, and my father-in-law had already had four daughters (all over a decade older than my husband) get married. He told us it wasn't his job to pay for this wedding since I wasn't his daughter. My mom was not well off and my dad had died a few years prior, so my husband and I paid for nearly everything. We hosted about 100 people for $5k. We were going to pay for everything until my FIL angrily confronted my now-husband, asking why he hadn't been consulted on anything - hey, you don't pay, you don't get a say. He ended up paying for the champagne, rehearsal dinner, cake, and flowers (just one flower for each person in the wedding party, and some potted mums for the wedding site).

fusoya
04-22-2011, 07:03 AM
I haven't seen the movie since it first came out (when I was 11), so I don't remember much of it except for the scene with the hot dog buns, but I'm a pretty big stickler for people throwing away their life savings on a wedding. Is the bride in that movie a selfish brat?

Chanteuse
04-22-2011, 07:52 AM
I can assure you that it's not just you--I actually got angry when I watched it. I spent much of the movie wishing I could bitch-slap the women right through the walls of their middle-class home. Never did they consider anyone else's needs or opinions--no, it all had to be high-dollar and fairy-tale perfect, as if all that somehow makes the vows more valid.

I got married on a budget, because we just didn't have that much to spend. Most everything was made at home or purchased from discount vendors. We economized every way we could (one of my favorites was getting medium-sized styrofoam meat trays from the butcher to serve the cake and snacks on--they were the perfect size, and the raised sides prevented spills). At the end of the day, I was just as married as someone who spent a fortune!

Dewey Finn
04-22-2011, 08:35 AM
I haven't seen the movie since it first came out (when I was 11), so I don't remember much of it except for the scene with the hot dog buns, but I'm a pretty big stickler for people throwing away their life savings on a wedding. Is the bride in that movie a selfish brat?
I assumed that the expense was not nearly that much of a burden. Remember that Steve Martin's character was the upper-middle-class owner of an athletic shoe company so I assumed that he could, in fact afford to spend that much. (Also, given that the reception was held in the backyard, it's possible that it ended up costing less than $500 a head. I can't actually see how you could spend that much or fit 500 guests in a backyard.) And the father's complaints about the cost was a cute way of portraying his angst about losing his daughter. As I remember the Spencer Tracy original, it was pretty much the same storyline, with the same concern about costs spiraling out of control.

dangermom
04-22-2011, 09:52 AM
I loved this movie, but even at the time I sided with the father. I felt like he was the only sane one in a sea of crazy people. Someone mentioned the magazine his daughter was reading. It mentioned - GASP! - the bride making her own dress. The shame! Except, in my family, everyone is stunned and impressed if the bride makes her own dress.Clearly I'm going to have to rent the movie now, because I saw it long ago when it came out and don't remember much--but I thought that was the premise, that he was surrounded by lunatics.

My mom sewed my wedding dress.

Death of Rats
04-22-2011, 09:59 AM
"I want the CHEEPA chicken!" (my wife an I also constantly steal the line about the valet parking "FRONCK: Four is good, three is acceptable anything less scares me. GEORGE: Two.")

Granted, yes, part of it is that he is losing his daughter. But, part of it is that he has a point that the wedding planning was out of control and no one would take his feelings seriously, or really listen to him at all.

muldoonthief
04-22-2011, 10:06 AM
Don't forget though, the groom's parents, who were a lot richer than him, offered to pay for it too - George was the one insistent that he had to pay for it all himself. IMHO, he was being a bit of an asshole - if very rich people want to pay for their own son's wedding, and have it on a scale that very rich people can easily afford, his choices are (a) let them pay for it, or (b) if he's utterly insistent that he must pay for it himself, he's got to deal with the fact that he's going to have to put on a wedding of the same scale as the richer people would have.

Dewey Finn
04-22-2011, 10:28 AM
Granted, yes, part of it is that he is losing his daughter. But, part of it is that he has a point that the wedding planning was out of control and no one would take his feelings seriously, or really listen to him at all.
Again, this is something taken from the original 1950 film (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_of_the_Bride_%281950_film%29) starring Spencer Tracy as the father (with Elizabeth Taylor as the daughter; perhaps he should be glad that he only had to pay for her first wedding). So it's a look at a time when the father of the bride was expected only to give her away at the ceremony and to write the all of the checks. Now that seems dated, but I think at the time, a husband made basically all of the decisions in the household, so that he could call his wife to tell her that he was bringing guests home for dinner and she would be expected to host them without question. Or if he bought his wife a car to drive, he'd pick it out without consulting her. So the daughter's wedding was one of the few times when the wife was in control.

Elendil's Heir
04-22-2011, 11:32 AM
Don't forget though, the groom's parents, who were a lot richer than him, offered to pay for it too - George was the one insistent that he had to pay for it all himself. IMHO, he was being a bit of an asshole - if very rich people want to pay for their own son's wedding, and have it on a scale that very rich people can easily afford, his choices are (a) let them pay for it, or (b) if he's utterly insistent that he must pay for it himself, he's got to deal with the fact that he's going to have to put on a wedding of the same scale as the richer people would have.

Excellent point. I've never seen either movie through from start to finish, and it's been a long time, but I do remember sympathizing with the dad.

Incidentally, I read awhile back that future country music star Brad Paisley had just gone through a rough breakup with his girlfriend, and decided to go to a movie to take his mind off things. He saw the Steve Martin version of Father of the Bride, with Kimberly Williams playing the daughter. Paisley was smitten with Williams, and through Hollywood contacts eventually cast her as his girlfriend in the video for "I'm Gonna Miss Her." They fell in love, got married, and are now the proud parents of two boys.

Here's the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwRrKaq0IyY

Wile E
04-22-2011, 12:21 PM
I haven't seen the movie since it first came out (when I was 11), so I don't remember much of it except for the scene with the hot dog buns, but I'm a pretty big stickler for people throwing away their life savings on a wedding. Is the bride in that movie a selfish brat?

I don't think she's a selfish brat, a bit spoiled maybe. I think it's that damn Diane Keaton that's the instigator of it all.

So yes, I'm in the "I think it's ridiculous to spend so much money on a wedding" camp and tended to side with the father.

joebuck20
04-22-2011, 02:15 PM
Is it customary for the bride's side to cover the entire cost of the wedding? And if so, has anyone told Kate Middleton's parents?

Have no idea if they're going to be chipping in much, if anything. But when Grace Kelly got married to the Prince of Monaco, I believe her father insisted on covering pretty much everything. He was a pretty well-heeled construction magnate, though.

I assumed that the expense was not nearly that much of a burden. Remember that Steve Martin's character was the upper-middle-class owner of an athletic shoe company...

Even in 1991, one of the more unrealistic aspects of this movie was that there was still a shoe company that actually manufactured shoes in America.

alphaboi867
04-22-2011, 02:32 PM
Is it customary for the bride's side to cover the entire cost of the wedding? And if so, has anyone told Kate Middleton's parents?

They are contributing to the cost of the wedding, but different rules apply to royalty, especially when it's the wedding of a future monarch.

suranyi
04-22-2011, 06:18 PM
Back in the early 90s I went to a wedding attended by more than a thousand guests. I have no idea how the bride's family could afford it. (I was the groom's cousin.)

The vast majority of guests were on the bride's side.

Taomist
04-22-2011, 06:43 PM
+1 for the father being right.
I've heard of people putting off weddings for years because they have to save up to do it, which is ridiculous. Just get the license, get married legally, and then take your time having another ceremony whenever and wherever. I'm scared to death of that kind of wasteful consumption, and the idea that even the smallest thing going wrong will ruin EVERYTHING? Seriously, what world is that? It's la-la stupidland.

p.s. I'm female. My 'wedding' is happening in four stages: the first was living together for 3 years, at which point, as far as *I* am concerned, we were already married. The second part was yesterday, with the children in attendance for the formalities. (It was awfully nice :) ) Our honeymoon's in June <the original elopment *plan* for the wedding, but as always, children change all plans :P ), and sometime in the next year, or whenever we can afford it, we'll hoof it to my family's state and have a ceremony for my side of things. I can't even imagine hingeing everything on one single day going perfectly; life just isn't LIKE that, and I'd hate for any newlyweds to think it does, rofl. But maybe that's the point, to learn how to deal with disappointment by setting yourself up for something so huge that you ARE going to argue and compromise.

I still don't see how anyone at all who does a big wedding gets any sleep that week or does anything but snore on the wedding night.

kunilou
04-22-2011, 10:26 PM
Have times really changed that much in only 20 years?

Don't forget that Father of the Bride was a remake of a 1950's movie with Spencer Tracey and Elizabeth Taylor. In any case, the money isn't the point. The point is that the cool, collected, in charge father suddenly saw everything spiraling out of control and was powerless to stop it.

kaylasdad99
04-22-2011, 11:12 PM
p.s. I'm female. My 'wedding' is happening in four stages: the first was living together for 3 years, at which point, as far as *I* am concerned, we were already married. The second part was yesterday, with the children in attendance for the formalities. (It was awfully nice :) ) Our honeymoon's in June <the original elopment *plan* for the wedding, but as always, children change all plans :P ), and sometime in the next year, or whenever we can afford it, we'll hoof it to my family's state and have a ceremony for my side of things. I can't even imagine hingeing everything on one single day going perfectly; life just isn't LIKE that, and I'd hate for any newlyweds to think it does, rofl. But maybe that's the point, to learn how to deal with disappointment by setting yourself up for something so huge that you ARE going to argue and compromise.
Congratulations!

alphaboi867
04-22-2011, 11:37 PM
My father did pay for the entirety of my sister's first wedding, but all her subsequent weddings she's had to pay for herself (well I assume the grooms have contributed).

tumbleddown
04-22-2011, 11:38 PM
Two weeks before I saw this movie for the first time I helped my best friend have a gorgeous wedding for fifty guests for about $1,000, not including the bridesmaids' dresses or the honeymoon. It was very DIY but it was a beautiful day.

Watching a wedding said to cost 125 times that in which the father of the bride didn't even get a chance to eat at the reception or see his daughter off just rubbed me all the wrong way. It was just sad to me that everyone except George lost sight of what was really important about the whole day -- family.

statsman1982
04-23-2011, 12:48 PM
p.s. I'm female. My 'wedding' is happening in four stages: the first was living together for 3 years, at which point, as far as *I* am concerned, we were already married. The second part was yesterday, with the children in attendance for the formalities. (It was awfully nice :) ) Our honeymoon's in June <the original elopment *plan* for the wedding, but as always, children change all plans :P ), and sometime in the next year, or whenever we can afford it, we'll hoof it to my family's state and have a ceremony for my side of things. I can't even imagine hingeing everything on one single day going perfectly; life just isn't LIKE that, and I'd hate for any newlyweds to think it does, rofl. But maybe that's the point, to learn how to deal with disappointment by setting yourself up for something so huge that you ARE going to argue and compromise.

I still don't see how anyone at all who does a big wedding gets any sleep that week or does anything but snore on the wedding night.

+1 on the congratulations!

And muldoonthief made me remember that scene in the kitchen, after the future in-laws met, where George learns from his wife that Brian's (his future son-in-law) parents wanted to chip in some of the money for the wedding. George refused, mentioning that he didn't want the in-laws to think they were poor.

So, I guess the larger problem is that everyone in the Banks family is too concerned with tradition and appearances. If I had a child who was marrying a person from a wealthy family, I wouldn't think twice about accepting their help. If people far richer than I want to make my life easier, I'm 100% okay with that.

Sampiro
04-23-2011, 01:02 PM
I couldn't stand this movie or even the concept of it. IIRC Spencer Tracy's character in the original was much more actual bonafide middle class than Martin's factory owning/million-dollar-house owning character, but there wasn't a single person in the movie I could relate to or like and was surprised by its popularity. Of course I was particularly broke when it came out on VHS so I had some "damn I wish I had your problems" bitterness; it's kind of like complaining to the minimum wage woman at the grocery store how hard it is to get baked brie stains out of the $1,600 tablecloth.

The Denmark part was the most ridiculous thing. It's utterly crass and mannerless that the father of the groom would even ask when he's richer than Martin's character, they're his relatives, and most Americans don't any more give a damn what Danish traditions are than most Danes would give a damn about U.S. wedding traditions. I'd have told him "Guess what, I just converted to pure old school bedouin Islam and it's our custom that you pay me for my daughter with camels and robes. Of course it's hard to find camels in L.A. and I'm not even sure of my robe size, but let's just say that if you could a good camel is worth around $15,000 and my daughter with her education and all should be worth around 15 of those easy and the bathrobes from Armani are around $1,000 and I'll be needing a couple of good sized stacks of those--- so I was planning on paying around $200,000 for the wedding, tell you what, YOU pay for the wedding and cut me a check for $100,000 and we'll call it square!"

The only laughs were from Martin Short and "Frunk" grew old quick.

Sampiro
04-23-2011, 01:09 PM
And whether I converted to bedouin brand traditional Islam or not, if I shell out more money than I'd pay for a nice house for my daughter's wedding and she divorces 2 years later... honor killing. "Princess, I don't care if he doesn't understand your feelings, I don't care if he wants different things out of life than you do, I don't care if he snorted coke off your ass in front of the neighbors and set fire to your hair at his family reunion, Daddy spent nearly a quarter mil on your 'special day'... MAKE IT WORK".

gwendee
04-23-2011, 04:05 PM
And whether I converted to bedouin brand traditional Islam or not, if I shell out more money than I'd pay for a nice house for my daughter's wedding and she divorces 2 years later... honor killing. "Princess, I don't care if he doesn't understand your feelings, I don't care if he wants different things out of life than you do, I don't care if he snorted coke off your ass in front of the neighbors and set fire to your hair at his family reunion, Daddy spent nearly a quarter mil on your 'special day'... MAKE IT WORK".

A girl from my high school whose family I knew a little bit found herself "in the family way" and quickly planned for herself her dream wedding, with a huge wedding party in ruffly plum and teal dresses, an expensive country club reception. This was in 1990 or so and her solidly middle class (not upper - straight middle) class parents took a second mortgage on their home to pay the $60K that it cost.

She and her husband separated about 2 months after the baby was born and she and the baby moved back in with her parents.

I also haven't seen the movie in a number of years but remember thinking Diane Keatons' character was more to blame for the excess.

Also, I think monetary figures are often skewed in movies for impact. If George had been fuming about a $50k wedding it wouldn't have seemed as outrageous because people really were spending that at that time. Certainly not everyone or everywhere, but that was the budget for more than a few of my college friends' weddings. That also was the time in my life when I went to the most weddings in the shortest amount of time, and all of them were incredibly similar.

Skald the Rhymer
04-23-2011, 05:48 PM
I always thought George was in the right. I didn't understand how anyone could think otherwise except by the same rules under which, say, the Jules character in My Best Friend's Wedding not to be a vicious bitch.

Which is not the best example, as MBFW makes no bones about the fact that she is in the wrong, whereas FotB pretends that George is being a jerk.

drpepper
04-23-2011, 06:36 PM
I believe this scenario was rightfully mentioned in another thread in which the topic was (paraphrasing), "Movies Whose Basic Premise You Disagree with/Makes you angry".

Included in this list was the shunning of the Ben Stiller character in 'Meet the Parents'; at various points in the movie we are led to sympathize (to a degree) with all the assholes in the bride's family, and the bride does but a very token little bit to set her asshole father straight.

WTF re. normal people supposedly thinking this way? Both fairly egregious examples that sucked the enjoyment right out of the movie for me.

MPB in Salt Lake
04-23-2011, 06:46 PM
A girl from my high school whose family I knew a little bit found herself "in the family way" and quickly planned for herself her dream wedding, with a huge wedding party in ruffly plum and teal dresses, an expensive country club reception. This was in 1990 or so and her solidly middle class (not upper - straight middle) class parents took a second mortgage on their home to pay the $60K that it cost...

Sounds like her parents are as foolish and concerned with appearances as their idiot daughter was.

A pregnant fucking high school-aged daughter wants a fucking $60,000 shotgun wedding, and her fucking stupid parents mortgage their fucking home to accommodate her fucking greedy demands?

Oh Golly.....

Mahaloth
04-23-2011, 07:18 PM
I was only 13 when this came out and even then, I thought he was right. It's a crazy huge ordeal that doesn't deserve it.

Dangerosa
04-23-2011, 07:29 PM
While it wouldn't be a SDMB sort of thing, I've "met" parents on another internet board who open up their daughter's wedding accounts when their little girl is born - saving for college for their daughter, no - she can pay for it herself. Having $60,000 or $100,000 saved by the time she marries for a big wedding? - Doesn't everyone open up that account?

I can't remember much about the movie though.

Typo Knig
04-24-2011, 12:09 AM
I can't stand the Steve Martin version - and the real life idiots and their (allegedly) adult children who bankrupt themselves for one single day of their lives.

A more specific point. Spencer Tracy's character in the 1950s version probably had a wedding that was extremely small and affordable - nay, even cheap. I imagine it was like the wedding at the end of The Best Years of Their Lives (in someone's house with about 20 people total, and the preacher doubling as the piano player). For a man in Tracy's shoes - who grew up in the Great Depression, fought in The War, and came home to the post-war economic disruptions, his daughter's big wedding was an unending series of sticker shocks. As well as the emotional shocks that make the original Father of the Bride a good movie.

But Steve Martin's character got married in the 1970s. His wedding may not have been like the wedding in The Godfather, but there would have been a rented hall, catering, many guests, tuxedos, big gifts, a thousand things to arrange - none of them free. Yet 1990s Martin is shocked - SHOCKED - that weddings can cost serious coin. I agree that the 1990s daughter and Mom are in the thrall of the wedding industrial complex, and the whole thing became a runaway Saturn V with nuclear warheads, but Steve's character should have at least recognized that the fuse was lit on a big rocket.

Between the Dad character's stupidity, and every other character's stupidity, I could not watch the whole remake of Father of the Bride.

stegon66
04-24-2011, 06:47 PM
A bit off topic: a friend's sister is getting married and has decided to have the wedding out of state. It'd be about a twelve hour drive for any family or friends who want to attend. I'm thinking WTF? Honeymoon out of state sure, but the wedding too? Why make it such a hassle for people to come? Neither her nor the groom's family is anywhere near wealthy and my friend may not be able to go because of her decision. Granted you don't have to be that well off to drive twelve hours to a function but it'd still be a lot of hassle for most potential attendees. Seriously, I don't get it.

Likewise, my ex-wife was planning on getting remarried several states away despite the fact that her and the groom's family are all local. Again, WTF?

jayjay
04-24-2011, 06:51 PM
A bit off topic: a friend's sister is getting married and has decided to have the wedding out of state. It'd be about a twelve hour drive for any family or friends who want to attend. I'm thinking WTF? Honeymoon out of state sure, but the wedding too? Why make it such a hassle for people to come? Neither her nor the groom's family is anywhere near wealthy and my friend may not be able to go because of her decision. Granted you don't have to be that well off to drive twelve hours to a function but it'd still be a lot of hassle for most potential attendees. Seriously, I don't get it.

Likewise, my ex-wife was planning on getting remarried several states away despite the fact that her and the groom's family are all local. Again, WTF?

"Destination weddings", which I despise. Is it all about YOU or is it an occasion to celebrate with your friends and family? If it's the latter, forcing them to spend large amounts of money just to get to the wedding (not to mention accommodations) if you really want them there is rude and over-the-top. If you're having a destination wedding, I think you should be the one paying for everyone to get to it.

Skald the Rhymer
04-24-2011, 08:00 PM
A bit off topic: a friend's sister is getting married and has decided to have the wedding out of state. It'd be about a twelve hour drive for any family or friends who want to attend. I'm thinking WTF? Honeymoon out of state sure, but the wedding too? Why make it such a hassle for people to come? Neither her nor the groom's family is anywhere near wealthy and my friend may not be able to go because of her decision. Granted you don't have to be that well off to drive twelve hours to a function but it'd still be a lot of hassle for most potential attendees. Seriously, I don't get it.

Likewise, my ex-wife was planning on getting remarried several states away despite the fact that her and the groom's family are all local. Again, WTF?

One of my cousins did this. His ostensible reason was that he was marrying a white woman (we're black) and some members of our family are quite racist (which is true), so he wanted to give an easy out to people he felt obliged to invite but dind't actually want. I'm not sure I bought it, but it was an excuse to go to Vegas.

Manda JO
04-24-2011, 08:02 PM
I think destination weddings are lovely, as long as you don't invite anyone that you can't afford to pay to fly out.

More seriously, in large part they've become more common because in a highly mobile society. It's quite possible for the bride and groom to have four full sets of parents--if both are divorced and remarried--and getting married anywhere where anyone lives is snubbing someone.

I am personally so anti-wedding that not only did we get married in the courthouse in our street clothes, we told no one--not a BFF, not a sibling, not a parent--that we were even talking about getting married until after it was done. We were at the end of college and had no money--we were living check to check--and I couldn't see asking my parents to help, as they were already supporting me.

In terms of the movie, I never thought the Banks were supposed to be upper-middle class. The house and furnishings were certainly not what I think of as upper-middle class. I thought of them as wealthy, just not stinking rich.

Dangerosa
04-24-2011, 08:18 PM
And this remains the best ever column on destination weddings: http://www.seattlepi.com/default/article/Despite-family-couple-want-beach-wedding-1280738.php

astorian
04-24-2011, 11:14 PM
When the movie first came out, one of the people who slammed it hardest was... Miss Manners! She stated categorically that it was preposterous (and NOT at all "traditional) for the bride's parents to pay ANY guest's travel expenses (let alone guests from overseas). She also thought it was ludicrous that EVERY attempt Steve Martin made to save a few dollars resulted in disaster.

bengangmo
04-24-2011, 11:43 PM
I assumed that the expense was not nearly that much of a burden. Remember that Steve Martin's character was the upper-middle-class owner of an athletic shoe company so I assumed that he could, in fact afford to spend that much. (Also, given that the reception was held in the backyard, it's possible that it ended up costing less than $500 a head. I can't actually see how you could spend that much or fit 500 guests in a backyard.) And the father's complaints about the cost was a cute way of portraying his angst about losing his daughter. As I remember the Spencer Tracy original, it was pretty much the same storyline, with the same concern about costs spiraling out of control.

Actually having arranged events before a "back yard wedding" (or any event) can often end up being substanially MORE expensive than a specialist venue.

Why?

Because you have to hire / bring in EVERYTHING. By the time you rent cover (in case it rains) hire air conditioning units for the tent, bring in full portable soundsystems, extra power (your house won't have enough juice to run everything), set up on site catering it very quickly gets expensive in comparison to a venue where it is all provided. (yes the venue has to buy the same things BUT, a) it's amortised over more events
b) labour is cheaper as it's long term employees
c) its all fixed in place

bengangmo
04-24-2011, 11:47 PM
And whether I converted to bedouin brand traditional Islam or not, if I shell out more money than I'd pay for a nice house for my daughter's wedding and she divorces 2 years later... honor killing. "Princess, I don't care if he doesn't understand your feelings, I don't care if he wants different things out of life than you do, I don't care if he snorted coke off your ass in front of the neighbors and set fire to your hair at his family reunion, Daddy spent nearly a quarter mil on your 'special day'... MAKE IT WORK".

My stepbrother got married.

Bride to Be came to parents a few days before wedding wanting to call it off.

They said "fine - but return us the money from the preparations"

Wedding went ahead because of this.

Divorce went ahead within 2 months.

alphaboi867
04-24-2011, 11:49 PM
I think destination weddings are only a good idea if; the couple is eloping (in which case nobody is really expected to attend, or the couple is prohibited from marrying by local law (ie same-sex couples).

Both sets of grandparents eloped. With my mother's parents it was a geniune elopement. The sequence of events went something like this; they driving on a country road on afternoon, grandpa said he'd never marry a woman who smoked, grandma threw all her cigarettes out the window, she packed a bag when she got home and snuck out that night wearing her Sunday dress, they drove to Maryland, got married at the first justice of the peace they found, her wedding ring was his class ring and her bouquet was a cabbage, she got food poisoning from diner they ate their wedding lunch at, and they both ended up back at her (furious) parent's house where grandpa had to spend his wedding night on the parlour sofa. He shipped out to the Pacific a week later. My father's parents we asked to elope by her parents so they wouldn't have to admit to anyone they couldn't afford a wedding. Both marriages ended in death, decades later.

bengangmo
04-24-2011, 11:51 PM
I always thought George was in the right. I didn't understand how anyone could think otherwise except by the same rules under which, say, the Jules character in My Best Friend's Wedding not to be a vicious bitch.

Which is not the best example, as MBFW makes no bones about the fact that she is in the wrong, whereas FotB pretends that George is being a jerk.

I thought that was what made the movie so funny.

That he was so obviously in the right, the sane one in a sea of crazy that was driven to crazy lengths to remain sane....

Is that making sense at all?

In other words - he went insane to stay sane?

DrFidelius
04-25-2011, 06:52 AM
I thought that was what made the movie so funny.

That he was so obviously in the right, the sane one in a sea of crazy that was driven to crazy lengths to remain sane....

Is that making sense at all?

In other words - he went insane to stay sane?

I somewhat agree here. It is the same joke/ situation as Green Acres - one sane man who expects the world to work in a logical manner, surrounded by surrealist characters and a world which seems to be actively subverting his knowledge of how reality is supposed to work.

don't ask
04-25-2011, 07:27 AM
The one really memorable thing in the movie doesn't show up in the IMDB quotes but I'm sure I am right. When they are culling the huge guest list and Steve Martin has this line:

"He died? That's great!"

The delivery is just perfect, assuming it's actually in the movie.

DoctorJ
04-25-2011, 08:26 AM
"Destination weddings", which I despise. Is it all about YOU or is it an occasion to celebrate with your friends and family? If it's the latter, forcing them to spend large amounts of money just to get to the wedding (not to mention accommodations) if you really want them there is rude and over-the-top. If you're having a destination wedding, I think you should be the one paying for everyone to get to it.
Our friends and family are so spread out that the majority of the people we really wanted there would have had to travel anyway, no matter where we had it. Having it in either of our hometowns would have meant inviting tons of distant relatives and family acquaintances that we don't especially like (or pissing those same people off and causing a lot of tension). So the destination wedding in New Orleans made sense for us.

Besides, most of the friends at our wedding were people whose weddings we had been in, which meant not only hundreds of dollars in clothing and hotel rooms and bachelor/ette parties but dozens of man-hours of pulling everything together at the last minute. And rarely having a good time, because we were always too exhausted by the time the reception came around to really enjoy it. I think most of our friends got off pretty light by comparison.

I agree that the destination wedding doesn't make sense for a lot of people, but it did for us.

jayjay
04-25-2011, 09:00 AM
Our friends and family are so spread out that the majority of the people we really wanted there would have had to travel anyway, no matter where we had it. Having it in either of our hometowns would have meant inviting tons of distant relatives and family acquaintances that we don't especially like (or pissing those same people off and causing a lot of tension). So the destination wedding in New Orleans made sense for us.

Besides, most of the friends at our wedding were people whose weddings we had been in, which meant not only hundreds of dollars in clothing and hotel rooms and bachelor/ette parties but dozens of man-hours of pulling everything together at the last minute. And rarely having a good time, because we were always too exhausted by the time the reception came around to really enjoy it. I think most of our friends got off pretty light by comparison.

I agree that the destination wedding doesn't make sense for a lot of people, but it did for us.

Okay, for you and the Cat Lady, I'll make an exception... :D

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