Directed by Juan José Campanella, starring Ricardo Darín, Héctor Alterio,Norma Aleandro, Eduardo Blanco, Natalia Verbeke, Gimena Nóbile and David Masajnik.
A bittersweet tale of family and love, 'The Son of the Bride' uses the streets of Buenos Aires as a canvas to paint an intimate portrait of personal dilemmas and loyalty.
Rafael, the hero of the title, played by Ricardo Darín (a familiar face as the conman in last year's 'Nine Queens') is having a mid-life crisis, and 'The Son Of The Bride' revolves around his attempts to resolve the conflicts that he finds in his relationships.
His father Nino (Alterio) who established the family business, a restaurant in downtown Buenos Aires, is still in full possession of his faculties, but Rafael's mother Norma (Aleandro) is suffering the agony of Alzheimer's Disease. Rafael is wracked by the guilt of being an inattentive child, while also suffering the hostility of his ex-wife, and the emotional demands of his delectable young girlfriend, who both suffer from his selfishness.
From this unpromising position, Rafael is transformed from a stressed, selfish man via a number of epiphanies - including a heart attack and helping his father realise his only remaining ambition. In the process, he meets some curious characters, including a bizarre priest-turned-hustler who might be an allegory for the worst aspects of the economic chaos that has engulfed Argentina.
Latin American cinema is in a healthy condition at the moment, but 'The Son of the Bride' will not be remembered as one of its finer moments. Although well-acted, with Darín's natural charisma winning out over his character's initial lack of sympathy and the supporting cast all turning in solid performances, this is a sentimental and occasionally over-cute story of a man finding himself.
On the plus side, Natalia Verbeke will be getting calls from Hollywood agents, if her luminous performance as Rafael's girlfriend is anything to go by. But it is tiring to see a selfish male character over-indulged in yet another film, even one that is shot with a sure eye and reasonably well directed. 'The Son of The Bride' can't avoid wallowing in its own sweetness and the resulting sugary confection is difficult to swallow.