Remakes of once-popular movies can be a tricky business. It’s always unclear how an audience will react to a new set of characters and an updated story when compared to the original. They can often fall flat, and with good reason. Some movies just don’t need a remake even though Hollywood is fine walking that path time and time again. But recently a Steve Martin classic comedy got a remake and it’s setting records on the streamer. Father of the Bride debuted on HBO Max and it has become the most-streamed movie on the platform in that time and the most-ever for a movie that went right to the streaming platform.
According to Deadline, the remake held the top spot on HBO Max throughout its first weekend and was the top overall title around the world on the platform. This version of Father of the Bride stars Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan as the couple who are about to see their daughter, Adria Arjona, off into wedded bliss to her boyfriend, Diego Boneta. The film has some of the beats as the Steve Martin version, but there are major differences as well. This remake has an almost entirely Latinx cast with Cuban themes coming through as part of the wedding planning and even some of the cultural background for the movie’s baseline.
Unlike the Steve Martin version of Father of the Bride, this remake does tone down the hijinks in favor of more aspects of the family relationships coming through with the wedding as a backdrop for the issues the family is going through. In this one, Andy Garcia’s character is still coming to grips with his daughters growing up and moving out, but he’s also working through many of his own relationship issues, something that wasn’t as prevalent in the Steve Martin version or even the original. There are still themes of money and status though, along with elements of distrust on the part of the other family. But in all this is a different take on the film.
This remake of Father of the Bride played particularly well in Mexico for HBO Max where it ranks in the top five for most-watched opening weekends for a title on the streamer. And it scored well with critics as well, hitting 81% on Rotten Tomatoes. Reviewers loved the tone, how it stepped away from previous versions of this title, the adherence to a new cultural setting for a somewhat familiar story, and how the leads all handled the trials and tribulations of the wedding weekend. It’s unclear if this Father of the Bride will spawn a sequel like the Steve Martin version which had a follow-up just a few years later.
In all, this movie ended up being a pretty huge hit for HBO Max all things considered. In a new day and age with movies not needing to hit the big screen in order to find success, taking some original IP and putting it in a new light can have upside if done correctly. This new Father of the Bride could have people forgetting the Steve Martin version altogether.