Weddings are hard enough, but when a black man and a Latina woman come home to share the news with their families, everything immediately falls apart. Brad Boyd, Marcus’s father, lives a bachelor’s lifestyle and has little appreciation for the institution of marriage. Miguel Ramirez, Lucia’s father, is more than perplexed by the differences of their skin color and is not happy about trying to welcome in his new almost son-in-law. At every turn, Miguel challenges Marcus, causing him to allow his father’s hesitations for him to get married to rock his confidence. The family has to look beyond the color barriers and find a way to support the young couple and their dreams of getting married.
Starring: America Ferrara (Lucia Ramirez), Lance Gross (Marcus Boyd), Forrest Whitaker (Brad Boyd), Carlos Mencia (Miguel Ramirez), Regina King (Angela), Lupe Ontiveros (Momma Cecilia), Charles Q. Murphy (TJ), Diana Maria Riva (Sonia Ramirez), Anjelah N. Johnson (Isabella Ramirez), Anna Maria Horsford (Diane Boyd), Warren Sapp (Wendell Boyd), Shondrella Avery (Keisha Boyd)
The featured couple is played by America Ferrara and Lance Gross. Ferrera strives to exhibit a challenge of living a progressive lifestyle while balancing her family’s traditional perspectives and customs. She exhibits the fallout of allowing the pressure of her family’s traditions mask her own actions and ambitions. Gross maintains a steadier will as he tries to take everything Miguel throws at him. The big ticket stars for this film are Carlos Mencia and Forest Whitaker. Mencia plays the overprotective father who struggles with feeling that his daughter is defying their culture. Whitaker does not spend as much time talking about culture, except for one scene where he struggles to look for traditions, but he also is challenged by is son having to experience the struggles of being tied down to anyone. While Regina King provides a great challenge to Brad’s womanizing ways and Lupe Ontiveros delivers a humorous representation of strong traditional value, the majority of the rest of the family comes in later in the film to exaggerate the extent of the differences between the two cultures.
Director Rick Famuyiwa delves into the challenges of different cultures struggling but trying to blend together. This film shows the varying levels of acceptance and openness to differences based on generational identity. The young couple is obviously open to interracial relationships but both of their parents struggle with comprehending how the two could find common ground. Their pressure becomes so great that it causes the couple to doubt themselves and their ability to make their differences mesh. This story highlights the reality that we have made progress as a people to be more accepting and to grow through each new experience, but we have also not gotten past the challenges of internalized and interpersonal racism and stereotyping.
It is a fun exploration of breaking social barriers but is only really a one-time view.
Dan’s Rating: 2.5/5