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Our Family Wedding

With the prospect of a ton of raunchy comedies to be hitting theaters in the wake of The Hangover, you have to respect a movie like Our Family Wedding, which believes that there’s still a viable market for gentler humor. America Ferrera (TV’s Ugly Betty) and Lance Gross (House of Payne) star as a young couple introducing each other to their respective families. He’s black, she’s Mexican-American, and if that’s not going to be enough of a surprise to both sets of parents, they’re planning to get married in a few weeks, too. But what initially looks like it’s going to be a Latino remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner keeps the racial sparring to a minimum, going for a more generic form of generation-gap humor. Her father (Carlos Mencia) is a self-made man, owner of a car restoration company, who pays more attention to his cars than to his wife (Diana Maria Riva). His father (Forest Whitaker) is a radio personality and ladies’ man whose divorce hasn’t left him with a high opinion of marriage. Though there are some initial cross-cultural flare- ps between the fathers-in-law-to-be, the bulk of what racial humor there is comes from the respective black and Latino characters poking fun at themselves. Mencia is appealingly restrained compared to the broad comedy of his Comedy Central show, while the casting of Oscar-winner Whitaker instead of a comedian should tip you off to the film’s aims. The hurdles on the way to the wedding day are mostly predictable, and director Rick Famuyiwa is out of his element when the film goes for more physical comedy (the goat was a mistake). If you consider “inoffensive” a synonym for “bland,” this isn’t the movie for you. But audiences who like their movies on the soft side of PG-13 could do worse.

—m. faust

Watch the trailer for Our Family Wedding

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