Edge

Marrying black and hispanic stereotypes

Despite its potential to explore the issues and difficulties of interracial relationships with some very talented actors, “Our Family Wedding” fails. It is nothing more than a cliché in its attempt to marry black and Latino racism with slapdash humor.
The plot opens as Lucia, a beautiful Mexican law school student, played by “Ugly Betty’s” America Ferrera, and her med school fiancé Marcus, Lance Gross, are on their way to Los Angeles to tell their families of their marriage plans and subsequent move to  the country of Laos with Doctors Without Borders. Leaving school is against Lucia’s family wishes, but they are appalled and shocked when she drops a welcome-to-the-21st century bomb on them: Marcus is black.
Dad is baffled. Beloved Abuelita faints. And while they’ll eventually learn to embrace the difference of cultures, it won’t be before 80 more minutes of buffoonery, cheap racial jabs and interpersonal maturity that’s about as introspective as an episode of George Lopez.
Brad and Miguel, the two fathers (played by Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) are the real star couple. The movie’s humor is driven by their ongoing blockheaded scramble for macho dominance as the wedding quickly approaches. Their first meeting is filled with juvenile skirmish, colored with racial pokes. “I’m not your bro, ese!” “I’m not your ese, cuz!” “I’m not your cuz, vato”… from there, the jokes don’t get much more sophisticated, culminating in a fiasco that involves the Mexican celebration goat and Brad’s spilled Viagra pills.
Extra characters are as stereotypical as can be, including an Eddie Murphy lookalike who talks loudly and sings R&B, and a recently-paroled cousin who carries a cane with his pinstripe suit. Lucia’s sister, Isabella (played by Anjelah Johnson), does however, stand out with her melancholy and disarming one-liners, quickly winning the audience’s affections as the only person in her family not ruffled senseless at the thought of an interracial marriage.
As expected, things go crazy on the wedding day with everything from sassy cake-smashing Latina aunts, to alternating Mariachi and DJ music. In this, the movie’s theme, described best by the character Lucia’s feeble profundity earlier on, is actualized. “Life doesn’t always make sense. Love doesn’t always make sense.” What doesn’t make sense is why Hollywood would still need to play the racial stereotype card, over and over and over, for cheap laughs while having an Oscar-winning actor (Whitaker) use his talent to fight off a horny goat.
In the end, “Our Family Wedding” does offer a few pretty humorous moments through its light-hearted exaggeration of the laughable issues that all families share. But among the hundreds of other movies that have exhausted the comedy of racial differences, it fails to stand out. As a comedy about weddings and getting married, it simply can’t hold up to classics like “Meet the Parents” or “Father of the Bride.” And as a poignant coming-of-age film about learning to set aside prejudices and embracing diversity, well… let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

March 28, 2010

Reporters

David Sargent

Contributing EDGE Writer


ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “Marrying black and hispanic stereotypes”

  1. Vanessa says:

    Dear David Sargent:

    I just really want to say that I love this movie because it makes me remember what I went through when I married my Mexican husband. Please do not compare this movie to another movie that does not involve any color people in it. It is very funny and Honestly “Father of the bride” and “Meet the parents” are just an example of white people’s culture wedding. Let’s be real here, it is a great movie and America is a nation of more than one culture.

Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

James Jones, who starred at Hialeah American High School, the University of Miami and was a part of ...

A classic good news/bad news scenerio arose for Miami Hurricanes football at the recent Atlantic Coa ...

The University of Miami football players are not the only ones getting preseason accolades. The guys ...

Defending national champ Clemson led all Atlantic Coast Conference schools Wednesday with five playe ...

This was a neat idea that Peter King’s Monday Morning Quarterback website rolled out just as NFL tra ...

Gomez, an expert on human values and attitudes in post-Castro Cuba, will serve as interim director o ...

The University of Miami announced the appointment of Cindy Munro as the new dean of the School of Nu ...

Read the latest entries from UM students who are spending part or all of their summer visiting diffe ...

University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement harnesses technology to seek affordab ...

UM female scientists share some insight on women in science, science in Hollywood and how Wonder Wom ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.