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Our Family Wedding: Analysis, Movie Review Example

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Movie Review

Part I

Plot

A young African-American man, Marcus Boyd, has just graduated from Columbia Medical School and is about to join the Doctors without Borders organization in Laos to work for them. His fiancée Lucia Ramirez has been living with him for a while and they are planning to get married and later move to Laos together. All this is without the knowledge of their parents. (Saxon & Wolfe, 2010)

Back in Los Angeles, Brad Boyd, the father to Marcus, comes out of a meeting only to see his car being towed by Miguel Ramirez, coincidentally, the father to Lucia. Brad Boyd attempts to stop his car from being towed by clutching on the door to his car, however, he is unsuccessful. The argument between Brad and Miguel becomes heated and they end up throwing racial slurs at each other. The two would later meet the same evening only to find out that they would soon become in-laws. Both sides of the families try to out-do each other by attempting to make the wedding more Mexican-American or African-American. The results are comedic and hilarious. (Melanie, 2010)

Lucia keeps a secret from her parents of her dropping out of Columbia Law School so that she can teach catering at a charter school to new immigrants. When Miguel finds out, he assumes that Lucia will be supporting her husband to be Marcus as he would be a volunteer doctor without a salary. Miguel confronts Marcus on the issue and categorically disapproves of Marcus living of his daughter. Meanwhile Lucia is present and does not comment on the issue. Due to this, Marcus feels alone and he eventually cancels the wedding.

Isabel Ramirez, Lucia’s sister, who had earlier disapproved of the marriage between Marcus and Lucia, convinces the family that Marcus is Lucia’s happiness and the fact that they are of different races should not be a deciding factor on whether or not they should marry. This leads to Marcus and Lucia reconciling after Lucia goes to Marcus and apologizing for not taking a stand when she should have. They finally recall the wedding and the ceremony ends up embracing both the Mexican and African-American wedding customs.

At the end of the movie, numerous pictures of family events involving the two families depict a happy and united family. Of note were pictures of the engagement of Isabel and Harry, an Asian-American.

Characters

Dynamic Characters

  • Bradford Boyd played by Forest Whitaker – Father to Marcus Boyd
  • Lucia Ramirez played by America Ferrera – Fiancée to Marcus Boyd
  • Marcus Boyd played by Lace Gross – Main Character
  • Miguel Ramirez played by Carlos Mencia – Father to Lucia Ramirez
  • Angela Boyd played by Regina King – Mother to Marcus Boyd
  • Sonia Ramirez played by Diana Maria Riva – Mother to Lucia Ramirez
  • Isabel Ramirez played by Anjelah Johnson – Sister to Lucia Ramirez

Static Characters

  • Ashley McPhee played by Shannyn Sossamon
  • Philip Gusto played by Fred Armisen
  • J. played by Charlie Murphy
  • Harry Shum Jr. as Harry (as Harry Shum [as Harry Shum Jr.]) – Fiancée to Isabel Ramirez(Saxon & Wolfe, 2010)

Theme

Race and Interracial Marriages

The movie is centered on the theme of race and interracial marriages. Throughout the movie from the opening scenes, the complexities of race is brought out. For example when Brad Boyd, an African-American, finds Miguel Ramirez, a Mexican-American, towing his vehicle. They enter into a heated argument where they end up throwing racial slurs at each other. This brings out how different races, even the minorities, find it difficult to get along.

In the build-up to the wedding, both sets of families try to have their culture dominate the wedding. The Boyd family try to impose the African-American way of conducting wedding ceremonies while the Ramirez family try to impose the Mexican way of conducting weddings. Even though both families try this, they end up finding a way to accept their different racial identities and put aside any differences.

Setting

The setting of the movie is in the modern times America. Even though there are historical cultural facets to the weddings that the families would like to observe, the wedding takes a modern and contemporary setup where the bride wears a modern wedding gown while the bridegroom dons a modern suite and tie.

Symbolism

The movie has a much deeper meaning that is centered on the theme of race. At the beginning of the movie, the quarrel between Brad Boyd and Miguel Ramirez signifies the quarrel and problems between the African-American and the Latin-American communities. It points out to the fact that even though the Latin-American and African-American communities largely form the minority groups in the United States, they still cannot get along. The racial divide runs so deep that the minorities find it hard to trust each other and find ways to harmonize their relationship.

Also in the movie, the Brad Boyd is seen to be significantly comfortable financially. Brad Boyd has a beautiful and modern penthouse with a significantly well-paying job.  On the other hand, Miguel Ramirez is seen to be moderately middle-class with the job of a tow-truck driver. This shows the real-life disparity of the African-American and Latin-American communities. The African-American community has made significant strides economically while the Latin-American community still lingers behind financially. This is a rather subliminal symbolism and simply outlines the real-life disparity that most races in the United States experience.

Part II

In my opinion, the opinion was a bit cliché and drab. Firstly, instead of the young couple meeting in an interesting manner, it is the fathers-in-law. The incident itself degenerates as is seen in many sections of the movie, where scenes turn into altercations of racial slurs. The choice of the man characters of the movie in my opinion is wrong. The couple is bland, even though Ferrera attempts to put in a good effort. There is no man reason why the couple is in love and I believe it is just because the script demands that they are.

The fact the wedding was set in three weeks is rather impossible. The wedding of that magnitude cannot be planned and accomplished within this timeline. The intricacies of a wedding from finding the right fitting dress to catering is a fete that cannot be completed in 3 weeks.

Part III

There are two characters that are significant in the movie, Brad Boyd and Miguel Ramirez. Even though they are not the main characters of the movie, they are significant in bringing out the theme and setting the tone of the movie. They are both parents and seem to work really hard to provide for their families. They come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds and this has significantly shaped their personalities.

Brad Boyd is seen to be rather hot headed with a very short temper. This is seen in the way he is quick to throw a racial insult at Miguel when he tows his car. This also shows how he is used to having things go his way. This is influenced by the fact that he is well-off and has worked hard to achieve everything that he has.

Miguel Ramirez on the other hand is a humble and hardworking man. His humility is depicted throughout the movie and how he handles the confrontation with Brad Boyd. However, he is seen to turn defensive and can stand up for himself when wrongly accused or insulted. He accepts his status in the society and avoids confrontation.

Both these characters have one thing in common, they are loyal and caring fathers. Despite their differences, they both want what is best for their children. In the movie, they show this through the way they protect their children from disappointment and hurt. This also brings out the fact that they are at time over protective and have egis that are over the top as they cannot submit to defeat.

Part IV

Marcus and Lucia find out the hard way that familial discord can fill the trail to saying “I do. After graduating from college, they decide to suddenly announce their engagement and desire to married. However, they find out that their fathers who have super egos can cause the wedding to halt. However, the families ultimately find a way to unite for the happiness of the two.

This is the lesson that the movie carries, that interracial marriages carry with them complexities that are hard to overcome. Strife that originates from families have the ability to tear down any marriage but finding common ground and compromising is the key to a successful marriage.

References

Melanie. (2010). Our Family Wedding. Retrieved from The Movie Spolier: http://www.themoviespoiler.com/Spoilers/ourfamilywedding.html

Saxon, E., Wolfe, S. J. (Producers), & Famuyiwa, R. (Director). (2010). Our Family Wedding [Motion Picture]. 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.

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