Third ‘Father of the Bride’ Sounds Reductive and Offensive, and Steve Martin Has Never Heard of It

By  · Published on June 17th, 2014

Buena Vista Pictures

In the 1995 sequel to the charming 1991 comedy, Father of the Bride, a crazed George Banks (Steve Martin) is thrown into a dizzy (his default state, at least going on his behavior in the previous film) when he discovers that both his wife (Diane Keaton) and his daughter (Kimberly Williams-Paisley) are pregnant at the exact same time. George, never one to roll with the punches, freaks the heck out and is only cowed when Keaton’s ever-lovely Nina kicks him out and he gets a glimpse of what his life would look like without her (and, because he’s behaved so badly, probably also without their kids, their grandkids, and their sweet son-in-law). Nina is the brains of the Banks operation, a steadying force that somehow manages to weather every storm with grace and style. George, well, isn’t like that at all.

The formula for the second Father of the Bride film wasn’t entirely original – again, it was still all about George not being able to handle big life changes – but the feature wasn’t afraid to go with a slightly offbeat and surprisingly progressive plotline. George and Nina were about to become grandparents just as they were becoming actual parents again, and although George couldn’t handle most of the action, the film didn’t smack of ageism or anything of the sort – it seemed like the Banks clan was creating a new, modern family, even though it was one that happened sort of accidentally. If Father of the Bride is going to continue on, why not stick to those ideals? If a new report is to be believed, however, a third Father of the Bride is in the works, and it’s quite handily casting out the good stuff of the first two films, while sticking to a played out plot point from the second feature. Great!

Nikki Finke reports that a third Father of the Bride film is indeed in the works, one that would see the middle Banks child Matty (played in both films by Kieran Culkin) getting ready to walk down the aisle himself – with a “twist”! Turns out, Matty is marrying a guy (the son of a Navy SEAL), and George doesn’t take the news so well. Finke’s report is rife with really offensive language, though it’s hard to tell how much of that is coming from her and how much is from her source. To wit, Finke calls the film Father of the Bride 3 (bride? get it? because Matty’s sexuality now means he’s a woman?), refers to George as the “father of the bride” (again, the subtext here is that Matty is now a lady) and even includes a line directly from Finke’s source that reads, “I just hope it goes forward before gay stops trending…”

There are no words. Or, there are, but they’re not very nice ones.

Moving on. Finke reports that the film will borrow quite a bit from the second film, with Nina able to handle the news, while George flips out. Nina will reportedly kick George out again. And, yes, he’ll probably have a similar turnaround, realizing what a jackass he’s being and how stupid his reaction is. Fun for all! Except for that nasty homophobia, that’s not fun for anyone.

Finke also notes that the film will be directed by Charles Shyer, because “Nancy Meyers passed,” which sounds like bad news, until you remember that Shyer actually wrote and directed the first two films – Meyers co-wrote both scripts with Shyer and others (Shyer was her husband during the production of both films, though they divorced in 1999) but this is not a Meyers franchise, no matter how clunky Finke’s wording on the matter may be. Shyer is reportedly writing the film alongside Marc Klein, who previously wrote films Serendipity and Mirror Mirror, among others.

There is one other, minor, teeny tiny detail to this. Casting. The key to any Father of the Bride movie (even one that sounds as reductive and offensive as this one) is reuniting the talents and charms of Martin and Keaton, and it would be pretty pointless to try to make this film without them. Although Finke’s apparent scoop doesn’t say anything about casting, it’s sort of assumed that at least those two would return – great news, though it’s too bad that Martin knows zilch about this production:

So excited to read I’m doing Father of the Bride 3 since I haven’t seen a script or been offered the role!

— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) June 16, 2014

Perhaps there’s still hope.

Do you want to see a third Father of the Bride? Especially one with this plotline?