Saturday, March 3, 2012

Father of the Bride II - 1995 & 1951

Some months back I wrote about "Father of the Bride" and compared the original with the remake.  This morning I saw the remake sequel, so I am going to write about both remakes.

They both boasted the return of the original casts.  But other than the first third of the film, they are quite different.

They both start with the young couple from the last film announcing a impending bundle of joy.  Everyone is thrilled about the news except the father of the bride. 

Now, Stanley Banks, played by Spencer Tracy, doesn't like the idea of being a grandfather.  He sees his wife getting giddy and wanting to buy all kinds of things for the baby.  She wants to have it stay with them.  Stanley figures he's put in his time and doesn't want the kid to cramp his style.

Ellie can't wait to spread the good news.

George Banks, played by Steve Martin, is equally unhappy at the idea of his daughter having a baby.  It makes him feel older than he would like to admit he is.  He starts going on a self improvement tirade in an attempt to prove he isn't ready for the rocking chair set yet.

He tries working out, coloring his hair and finally only succeeds in knocking up his wife. 

This is where the remake veers wildly off the original.

Both movies have the amusing discussion about baby names.  Both have the arguments that make the mother to be turn up at her parents house.  But Kay's pregnancy is not the whole movie.  Heck, she hardly appears pregnant.

The untucked blouse is a sign of pregnancy in fifties movies.

Annie and Nina are a little bigger.  But their shirts aren't tucked in either, so who knows. 

Kay has her baby and the big issue becomes that Stanley and the baby don't like each other.  The baby cries anytime Stanley enters the room.  He is fine with this though, because he still doesn't like the whole grandpa thing. 

Then Kay and Buckley, yes, her husband is named Buckley, decide to take a trip.  They bring the baby over to her parents house for the weekend.  Ellie has something come up and has to leave Stanley alone with the baby.  In an effort to keep the baby quiet, he takes the baby to the park.  It is calmed by the ride in the pram and falls asleep, so Stanley parks him at a bench. 

A ball rolls his way and he is soon caught up in a game with some kids.  When he gets back to the bench, the pram and the baby have disappeared.   He rushes to the park office and finds that the baby is there.

But there is a moment of distress.  The baby doesn't like him.  How will he prove that it is his baby if the child just cries when he walks in the room?

But the baby is thrilled to see him and smiles and giggles at the sight of him.

So Stanley is instantly wrapped around his little finger.   The movie ends with the baby's christening where he is finally named.  Little Stanley. 

The kid is pretty big before the christen him.  Did they just no reveal the name till the ceremony?  But Kay gives her, "I love you Pops" look and Stanley is touched.

In the update, it is all about the pregnancies of Annie and Nina.  George accepts things pretty quickly and makes it through.  It ends with the births, although due a month apart, they have their babies within minutes of each other.

Both movies have all the comic moments.  Stanley battles the in-laws over who will spend the most on the new baby.  George rushes around taking care of two pregnant women with cravings.  Both deal with the false alarms. 

I like the new version the best.  Even though some of the updates seem silly, like making Nina pregnant too.  It is still cute. 

This is the kind of movie that will continue to be updated over the generations.  They are both examples of the times they were made. 

Plus my husband sat with me as I watched the remake and could quote quite a bit of it.  That makes a good movie.

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