Mother of the Bride ending explained: A second chance romance for the ages

Netflix's romantic comedy Mother of the Bride finds Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt tiptoeing around a second chance at love. Do they take it?
Mother of the Bride. (L-R) Brooke Shields as Lana and Benjamin Bratt as Will in Mother of the Bride. Cr. Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024
Mother of the Bride. (L-R) Brooke Shields as Lana and Benjamin Bratt as Will in Mother of the Bride. Cr. Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024 /

Unfriendly exes, their kids getting married, and a lavish destination wedding in a tropical location. What could go wrong? It's the question Netflix's romantic comedy movie Mother of the Bride answers across a charming romp filled with a talented cast of recognizable stars.

In the movie, Emma (Miranda Cosgrove) plans to wedding her fiancé RJ (Sean Teale) in Thailand, which comes as a surprise to her single mother Emma (Brooke Shields) and his single father Will (Benjamin Bratt), considering they were college sweethearts who ended on bad terms.

While telling the chaotic tale of Emma and RJ's fairytale wedding, their parents engage in the push and pull of the past and the present. Should they reignite the spark they once had, or should they let bygones be bygones? Here's how the rom-com ends!

WARNING: Spoilers ahead from the ending of Mother of the Bride.

Yes, Lana and Will end up together

Not only do Lana and Will end up together and get engaged at the end of the movie, but Emma and RJ also go through with their wedding. There was really never any indication that Emma and RJ would actually balk at getting married, but it's just to underscore that they did in fact get married and so will their parents, which will make them step-siblings. (And that's never fully addressed, by the way.)

"Okay, but if RJ is my half-brother, then the wedding is off," Emma awkwardly quips at the beginning of the movie when their parents meet and everyone discovers their past connection. Oddly, no one refutes the awkward joke and just uncomfortably laughs. Instead, Lana and Will fall into a pond together, which is romantic comedy for, "Oh, this is happening. Buckle up!"

Lana attempts to squash the lingering feelings for Will by dating Lucas (Chad Michael Murray), but reuniting with the ex she didn't get closure with is understandably too alluring. When she and Will are stranded on Lover's Cove together, the truth about him "ghosting" her comes out. He thought she deserved better and wanted to figure himself out. Of course, that led to her moving away, changing her number, and starting her life. But he never stopped loving her. He even came to find her in California, but by then, she was on her honeymoon.

Because of the hectic energy between Lana and Will, as well as Lana's personal feelings about Emma allowing her influencer-forward wedding planner to run the show, her relationship with Emma becomes strained and puts the whole wedding in jeopardy. However, Emma comes to understand her mother on a deeper level and pushes her mom to put herself first rather than worrying about Emma.

Being so, Lana finally decides to give Will a second chance. During the rehearsal dinner celebration, she overhears him on the phone with a woman named Katrina and assumes that he's two-timing her. But Katrina's just his assistant. Lana's icy to him during the wedding ceremony, but after the bouquet toss, Will forces Emma to confront the situation and explains the misunderstanding. With the support of their newly married children, they get engaged, again fall into water, and everyone dances to "Dong" by Bear Knuckle.

Watch Mother of the Bride only on Netflix.

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