The new version of “The Father of the Bride” showcases the cultural nuances and richness of Latin culture

By Saida Pagan

Editor’s Note: This story first appeared wordthe digital news site of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

It was a blockbuster movie in the 1950s and again in the 1990s – now in a reinvented version of “Father of the Bride”, he’s a Latino dad planning his daughter’s wedding and Hollywood hopes the movie classic will resonate. with the audience once again.

Award-winning actor Andy García, best known for his Oscar nominated role in “The Godfather: Part III”, stars in “Father of the Bride” as Billy Herrera, a prominent Cuban American architect. Grammy Award winner Gloria Estefan plays her wife, Ingrid, while Adria Arjona is their daughter, Sofia, and Diego Boneta, as her boyfriend, Adan.

The film, set in Miami, is described as a modern take on the 1950 film, “Father of the Bride,” starring Spencer Tracy. Steve Martin played the title role in the 1991 remake and 1995 sequel.

Estefan and García met with la palabra to talk about the meaning of creating a Latin take on the film.

“I was very honored that they thought of me to try to continue the legacy of this intellectual property,” said García. “I was very touched and felt I had a responsibility to do the best I could with it (when it came to) how the cultures were represented in the piece, without the stereotypes we have been used to.”

The romantic comedy tells the story of two successful families from Cuban and Mexican cultures who come together to plan the big day. “Father of the Bride” portrays Latins in a positive light, but García said years ago that it was a rarity in Hollywood.

“When I started looking for work in this industry, those opportunities didn’t exist for actors of Hispanic origin,” said García. “You were cast as a model and the roles they were writing were mostly male gang members,” she recalled. “There have been no films made. From time to time there was a film that he would break out like “El Norte”, but it was independent films that people made their way up to production. “

Andy García, Gloria Estefan, Adria Arjona and Diego Boneta in a scene from “The Father of the Bride”. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Productions

These days, García and Estefan express optimism about the apparent trend towards greater diversity in entertainment.

“You see actors who don’t change their names,” Estefan pointed out, referring to a time when some Latin artists would change their names to increase their chances of getting more work in Hollywood.

Estefan is particularly proud of her role in the film and expects this new version of “Father of the Bride” to appeal to audiences around the world. “Family, extended family, food, music, celebration of life – it’s fantastic. It is a human story, the story of the “abandonment of the nest” by parents and their children “.

“I think what will resonate will only be the family,” Boneta said. “It’s authentic enough for Latin Americans to watch it and enjoy it and see themselves on screen,” she said. “But at the same time, people from all over the world can watch it and relate to all the things that happen.”

Arjona says what’s refreshing about the film are the new themes it explores. “We will really show the world that we are just like you. We are all having the human experience and we all want exactly the same thing. It’s a funny, funny, joyful and intelligent film ”.

“Father of the Bride” was produced by Warner Bros. Pictures and will be streamed on HBO Max. It has not yet been determined whether it will hit theaters at a later date. The film is the latest in a series of Latin-themed projects released by major Hollywood studios last year. The list includes “In the Heights”, “Encanto” and “West Side Story”.

Andy García and Gloria Estefan as Billy and Ingrid Herrera dance at their daughter’s wedding. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Productions

Among the members of the new film’s creative team are executive producers Brad Pitt and Andy García, producer Paul Perez, director Gaz Alazraki and screenwriter Matt Lopez. Lopez said the inspiration for the story came from the many Cuban American weddings he had attended.

“You know, (the theme of) ‘Father of the Bride’ is one of the few things that crosses all cultures,” Lopez said. “We are married. We mate. We fall in love and get married. I think the universality of this is important. “

While writing the script, Lopez said that giving a sense of authenticity to the story always came first.

“It was something we were aware of. Many times when we see the Latins depicted, it’s like we’re a monolith, ”Lopez said. “We wanted, on the one hand, to celebrate the differences between cultures and show people that within this broader umbrella of Latinos there are (various) traditions and ethnicities and so on,” Lopez explained. “But at the same time, there’s this beautiful moment at the wedding reception where you see the commonality of the Latin American experience in America,” she said.

According to recent studies, producing multimedia products that appeal to a diverse audience also makes good business sense. The “Hollywood Diversity Report 2022” states, “People of color accounted for most of the opening weekend, selling nationwide tickets for six of the top 10 theatrical films in 2021.” The UCLA study also found that “Seven of the top 10 streaming movies in 2021 ranked by Latinx household rating featured casts that were over 30% minority.”

“Latins are the fastest growing demographic. It is a large audience of spectators. It’s a young audience, ”Lopez said. “In the case of television, they tend to watch commercials to a greater extent than the broader mainstream TV audience.”

The growing recognition of Latin Americans as potential consumers of English-language entertainment projects is a very positive sign for veteran artists García and Estefan.

“We are seeing a lot more opportunities,” Estefan said. “But it would be nice to see ourselves represented in the numbers that we are actually represented in the United States. But at least it’s going in a positive direction, ”he added.

“More stories are being told,” Garcia concluded. “There has been a lot of progress and we have a lot of other great stories to tell.”

Palabra on the reimagination of the father of the bride

Director Gaz Alazraki (left) on set, with Diego Boneta, Gloria Estefan, Adria Arjona and Andy García. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Productions

The conversation with the cast and creative team of “Father of the Bride” continued with Mexican director Gaz Alazraki. Alazraki has had a successful career directing projects such as “Nosotros los Nobles” and “Club de Cuervos”.

The questions and answers have been edited for clarity and space.

word: What thought process went to show the world the distinction between the two Latin cultures in the film?

Alazraki: “We knew these differences had never been presented on a global platform like in a Warner Bros. movie and (it was) the exact opportunity to wink at the fact that we are confused as a monolithic species behind glass. So we have had the opportunity to make those distinctions. There’s this scene (for example) where you have Chloe Fineman playing the wedding planner, and at first she sees them all (and says): “Well, it’s a Latinx wedding. ! “(Then family members say):” No. They are Cubans and we are Mexicans. And flamenco is from Spain. How do these ideas fit together? “

word: “Father of the Bride” has been described as funny, funny and intelligent. How did you get the film to that point?

Alazraki: “Making it personal: personal for me, personal for the actors, personnel for the producers and personnel for the studio. (For) whoever collaborated, it was important that we have their voice in there, so that it becomes specific. Most of the time I insist that my ideas are always on a soft focus until we’re on set and shooting scenes and trying to figure out what the scene really needs to say, and then there too. editor becomes an important contributor by saying how personal it is to him.

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Pagan exit is a Los Angeles-based journalist who has been nominated for three 2022 Los Angeles Press Club Awards for Entertainment Journalism. He also received first prize for entertainment journalism in the National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2022 competition. In 2021 he received two first awards from the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors for a documentary on the history of Los Angeles. Pagán was born and raised in New York City and is of Puerto Rican descent. She has worked as a reporter for television broadcasters in the United States and has appeared in nearly 100 prime time television shows, major movies, and other camera projects. Pagán holds a masters degree with honors in Strategic Communication and frequently conducts webinars on media, messaging and various aspects of communication.