Watch or skip: Mother of the Bride is a Mother's Day treat and shouldn't be missed

Mother of the Bride. Cr. Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024
Mother of the Bride. Cr. Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024 /

Netflix released its new romantic comedy movie Mother of the Bride on May 9, aptly just before Mother's Day weekend. It's sure to be the latest movie you see popping up when you open the streaming service and/or among the most popular titles in the daily top 10 ranking. Naturally, you will be wondering whether it's worth the watch or if you should just skip.

In the rom-com, Brooke Shields plays Lana Winslow, the single mother of Miranda Cosgrove's Emma, who unexpectedly springs the news of her engagement and destination wedding on her mom. Once in Thailand for the wedding festivities, Lana soon learns that her future son-in-law RJ's (Sean Teale) father is none other than Will Jackson, her college ex-boyfriend play by Benjamin Bratt.

As a romantic comedy, Mother of the Bride hits all the right notes, especially as one centering on a destination wedding with enemies-to-lovers and second chance romance tropes, not unlike Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell's Anyone But You and Julia Roberts and George Clooney's Ticket to Paradise. The cast, at the end of the day, is the most important part and this one's aces.

Mother of the Bride. (L-R) Rachael Harris, Sean Teale, Benjamin Bratt, Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove during pre production for Mother of the Bride. Cr. Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2023 /

Directed by Mark Waters, who helmed 2000s classics Freaky Friday and Mean Girls, brought so much life to a script with very familiar rom-com beats. The chaos, the yearning, the upheaval, the happy ending. It's all there, but Waters leads Shields and Bratt to have so much fun that it's impossible to look away from them for even a second. Cosgrove, too, makes a case for becoming the new rom-com queen, and why hasn't Sean Teale been in, like, everything?!

With the core four leading cast members as a solid foundation, the supporting cast has the chance to fill in the gaps with colorful commentary in the "best friend" roles. Rachael Harris is the sardonic but loyal rom-com bestie of our dreams, and Wilson Cruz and Michael McDonald play the one stable romantic pairing in the movie (that should have had more screen time). Even Chad Michael Murray does what he can with an underwritten romantic foil who's really just there for bonus swooning.

Obviously, if you're wondering whether to watch or skip Mother of the Bride and are leaning toward skip, your first instinct might be correct. If you can't stomach predictable romantic comedies, then this isn't for you. But if you love these kinds of movies and adore any of these cast members, it's worth the watch. Honestly, it's so fun that it makes you forget that Miranda Cosgrove technically married her stepbrother. (The movie ignores this, so maybe we should, too?)

If Netflix's previous romantic comedy output Irish Wish left a bad taste in your mouth, in spite of the joy of seeing Lindsay Lohan on screen again, Mother of the Bride will surely give you hope for the future of Netflix rom-coms. Whether you watch with your mom on Mother's Day, with your best friend for movie night, or with yourself with a glass of wine, it's a real treat.

Mother of the Bride review grade. B-. A super-cute and genuinely fun romantic comedy with an admittedly familiar premise but all-star cast with dazzling chemistry.. . Mother of the Bride

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