The 1991 adaptation of Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin is on AFI’s top 100 comedies of all time. This does not surprise me. Steve Martin is an American comedy legend, and as longtime readers of this blog know, I adore Martin Short’s performance in the role of Franck, the wedding planner, and have posted before about the film.
I have not seen the Spencer Tracy/Elizabeth Taylor original. I suppose I should. Somehow, I’d rather just sit and watch Steve Martin masterfully portray the simultaneous confusion of losing his little girl, and being inducted into the strange world of weddings. Oh, BTW? The AFI thinks it’s funnier than “The Jerk.” I concur.
As you may have seen, the house used in the 80s version of ‘Father of the Bride’ is for sale. So we pose the question: does the 21st Century wedding Dad fit the Hollywood mold? Are there battalions of Steve Martins stumbling their way through the planning process, and clutching their chests at the costs? Or have fathers, and weddings, not to mention the world, changed? OK, so it’s a rhetorical question. Of course, things have changed. But that Martin Short wedding planner character* Franck, like diamonds, is forever.
These days, a father’s role in his daughter or son’s wedding is determined less by convention than by the choices of the couple. If they’ve decided to fund the entire affair on their own, all Dad needs to do is show up on time wearing what he’s asked. Planning wise, suggestions are just that. Suggestions.
We’re always impressed, on the other hand, with Fathers who hand their sons and daughters a contribution towards a wedding, and trust that the couple will be good stewards of their money. We’ve never met one such couple who wanted anything but to make their parents proud. As one groom put it ” We want them to see we made good choices with the resources they gave us.”
Bride/Groom: Your Dad loves you, and he’s showing that love by helping create one of the most special occasions you’ll ever plan. Let him speak, and listen closely. If he objects to the zombie shooters, go gin-and-tonic and run wild with another element -like funky favors. It’s about mutual respect. Give and take. Good skills to hone for your married life.
Some things don’t change. There is still chest clutching, and colorful event planners still amuse people all over the country*. Ultimately, Dads love their kids, and really only care about one thing at the wedding: that it be the start of a happily married life. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Especially to the wonderful Fathers and Grandfather of a certain 2010 Bride who know who they are.
*Franck Eggelhoffer is based on a celebrity florist/event designer currently working in West Hollywood. If you ever meet him, you’ll know because Mr. Short is dead-on. Franck appears about 2 minutes into this clip. Also note that SVU’s favorite criminal profiler did time in the events industry. Fabolos!