New York housing contractor Eddie Hopper is a well-meaning father with big dreams and little cash. That doesn’t stop him from splurging on a wedding that he can’t afford when daughter Betsy unexpectedly announces her plans to marry Jake.
Treating Betsy’s wedding as one of his projects, Eddie’s spending spree quickly escalates. Eager to give his daughter the best wedding that ill-gotten money can buy, Eddie agrees to join in one of his double-dealing brother-in-law Oscar’s shady schemes. Betsy and Jake, meanwhile, decide they don’t want the wedding to be religious in any way and charge the priest not to say “God” during the ceremony.
From where did this lack of values, particularly spiritual, among the children come? From the parents, who are satirized as also without values, or more precisely, who only value money and material possessions. Oscar’s mob-related nephew, who begins romancing Betsy’s policewoman sister, ironically shows the most respect for traditional values, especially when it comes to courtship and seeking parental approval.
With the big day looming, pressures and tensions continue to mount, as everyone seems to have an emotional investment in the wedding. When the momentous occasion finally arrives, it rains on the wedding tent. Eddie extricates himself from his criminal wheeling-and-dealing, and Oscar the adulterer gets his comeuppance. The joy of celebration, however, doesn’t come until the tent gives way, and, in a moment of spontaneity, the banquet guests dance in water and eat pizza.
Thus, the film’s premise implies that happiness and joy of living are not found in material possessions and wealth, but in those moments of spontaneity which allow us to just be ourselves with those we love. Not a bad half-truth, yet it leaves out the centrality of Jesus Christ, who gives us those moments of spontaneity and life which flow from Him.
The film is further not recommended because of the way it desecrates the wedding ceremony. There is absolutely no emphasis on the spiritual, but rather great attention to pomp, decorum and seating arrangements. This is a shame because in light of Scripture (Matthew 22 for example), the wedding banquet is used as a parable to describe the banquet in the Kingdom of Heaven, which God, the gracious host, provides for all who accept His invitation. That is, God issues an open invitation to undeserving people and provides the righteousness the invitation demands. Refusing God’s invitation, however, results in rejection by God.
The film also contains a few profanities and several obscenities, plus one non-bloody scene of violence and gun play. The adult jokes, which are just average, center around the world of business and finance.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please address your comments to:
Mr. Michael Eisner
Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista St.
Burbank, CA 91521
Several obscenities, few profanities; adultery; brief violence with gun play; and, bribery