Son of the Bride

on March 22, 2002 by Rachel Deahl
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   One of the nominees for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, “Son of the Bride” is a somewhat disappointing and meandering saga about a man who's trying to put the pieces of his life back together. Ricardo Darin stars as a successful restaurateur who, at the age of 42, is experiencing a classic mid-life crisis. Having spent the majority of his life franticly running the Italian restaurant that his mother and father lovingly founded, Ricardo is overwhelmingly unsatisfied and ungrateful for all his good fortune. Estranged from his ex-wife, he puts forth a modicum of effort to be a good father to his young child, but not enough. And although he has a young, beautiful girlfriend who dotes on him, he can't bear the idea of committing to her.

   Just as Rafael is beginning to feel detached from his own existence, a series of unexpected events allows him to recognize all the wonderful people in his life he's been too self-involved to appreciate. After suffering a mild heart attack, Rafael is forced to spend more time away from work and, therefore, more time with his family. But the most affecting change comes when Rafael's elderly father seeks his son's help in staging a wedding for his beloved wife, who lives in a nursing home and suffers from Alzheimer's.

   Although “Son of the Bride” has some touching moments, the majority of the film is expended on the drudgery of Rafael's indifference and often unfounded unhappiness with his life. Unfortunately, the more compelling characters and storylines remain in the background. Best when it focuses on the tender relationship between the elderly parents, “Son of the Bride” shines when the father and mother are allowed to take center stage.    Starring Ricardo Darin, Hector Alterio, Norma Aleandro, Eduardo Blanco and Natalia Verbeke. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella. Written by Juan Jose Capanella and Fernando Castets. Produced by Fernando Blanco, Pablo Bossi, Jorge Estrada Mora, Gerardo Herrero and Mariela Besuievdsky. A Sony Pictures Classics release. Drama. Rated R for language. Running time: 124 min.

Tags: Starring Ricardo Darin, Hector Alterio, Norma Aleandro, Eduardo Blanco, Natalia Verbeke. Directed by Juan Jose Campanella. Written by Juan Jose Capanella and Fernando Castets. Produced by Fernando Blanco, Pablo Bossi, Jorge Estrada Mora, Gerardo Herrero, Mariela Besuievdsky, Sony, Drama
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