Netflix’s latest patchwork rom-com offers something old and plenty borrowed but fails to deliver anything new. While the film tries to fit into the streaming platform’s well-established genre of enjoyably terrible films, Mother of the Bride is so poorly put together that you can’t help but feel sorry for everyone involved – especially the viewers. 

The film follows newly engaged couple Emma (Miranda Cosgrove) and RJ (Sean Teale) as they jet off to an eye-wrenchingly lavish resort in Thailand to plan the most ridiculous wedding of the century. Things take an unexpected turn, however, when it is revealed that Emma’s mum, Lana (Brooke Sheilds), and RJ’s dad, Will (Benjamin Bratt) are old college flames – and the relationship didn’t end well.  From there things attempt to follow a familiar rom-com pattern, featuring notable troupes such as awkward run-ins, easily avoidable misunderstandings, and a wild Chad Michael Murray popping up from the most random corners of the screen. 

Mother of the Bride is a film with both a lot and absolutely nothing going on. With an overloaded setting and a ridiculously distracting number of extras, the scenes do their best to overwhelm your senses, in the futile hope you might become so confused as to enjoy the film. Yet, with all the extraneous details, there’s nothing at all given to the storyline. The film continuously sets up potentially interesting scenes, only to lose interest as they actually start taking place. Moreover, it jumps from scene to scene quickly enough to give the audience whiplash and no real certainty as to what’s going on. The quickly shifting scenes, combined with entirely unnatural dialogue, make the whole thing feel like an AI-generated experiment that hasn’t worked out. 

Despite these limitations, the film could probably still be enjoyable if it weren’t for the fact that the characters are so off-putting. Ranging from horrendously obnoxious to completely superfluous, they’ll have you hoping for a sudden gear-change into the slasher genre – all that is except Lana, who frankly deserves better, and Lucas (Murray) who has just enough screen time – not much – to make his absurdity endearing. Particularly irritating is Emma, an apparently no-nonsense hard worker who lives up to her trope by sitting on the beach checking on her Instagram likes, and constantly berating her mother for absolutely no reason. Her fiancee could be considered just as irritating if it weren’t for the fact you forget about him every time he leaves the screen.  Finally, there’s Will, who simply doesn’t offer enough personality to earn any interest in his romantic endeavors. 

Ultimately, Mother of the Bride is a film that delivers about as much as was put into it – which is to say very little. The film drags its way through predictable scenes, and unnecessary filler, hoping you’ll play along with its quest to marry off the two charming youngsters and reunite the old flames. In reality, you’ll hope for Lana to get a well-deserved fling with Chad Michael Murray, the bethrothed couple to call it quits before you’re forced to endure any more absurd wedding scenes, and the whole film to end as abruptly as it started. Despite all that, it’s still just about a film worth watching, that is if you’re looking for a movie that requires very little attention and gives you the chance to hate on some attractive rich people. 

Streaming on Netflix now