'Our Family Wedding'

Instead of invitations, they should be sending out apologies for "Our Family Wedding," a cake and kisses comedy that has disaster written all over it. Race as much as romance is at the heart of the matter, with director Rick Famuyiwa playing that card in nearly every scene.

The film stars America Ferrera, who's finishing up her final lap on ABC's "Ugly Betty," and Lance Gross, a resident of Tyler Perry's "House of Payne," as the secretly betrothed Lucia and Marcus.

In case no one notices that she is Hispanic and he is African-American, Lucia's grandmother (Lupe Ontiveros) is there to screech, "He's black," and then faint. The film kicks off with the couple traveling to Los Angeles to meet the parents and get married on the fly. But the family conflicts and the movie's problems start hours before that first family gathering because the real couple wreaking havoc here are the dads, Brad Boyd ( Forest Whitaker) and Miguel Ramirez (stand-up comic Carlos Mencia).

They even get the movie's meet-cute moment - Brad's vintage Aston Martin is parked in a loading zone, and Miguel is manning the tow truck that's about to haul it away. Instead of hilarity ensuing, Miguel and Brad pull out nearly every racial slur in the book, a lot of half-baked slapstick and even more macho posturing in an effort to entertain.

There is also the typical assortment of wedding-related problems - the dress, the venue, the seating arrangements, the onslaught of crazy relatives and, of course, the cost. The real cost, though, is the wasted opportunity to take a smart cut at a subject so thematically rich and so rarely explored by Hollywood. Instead, the warring families, the interracial romance, the inherent cultural clashes and the middle- versus upper-class divide are squandered.

MPAA rating: PG-13 (for some sexual content and brief strong language); Running time: 1:41

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World