See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002

Son of the Bride

Posted By on Wed, Sep 18, 2002 at 12:00 AM

Rafael Belvedere is a 42-year-old stressed-out restaurateur in Buenos Aires with an ex-wife, a girlfriend and a young daughter, all of whom he tends to put on hold as his sundry business duties call — plus he has a kindly old father and a mother who's in a rest home suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Small wonder, then, that he suffers a heart attack, a decidedly mixed blessing — if ever a life needed a reflective pause, it's Rafael's.

Adding to the pressures of business is that his father has become convinced that a symbolic re-marriage to his wife — the elaborate church wedding that they never had — would be a wonderful gift for her in her declining years, even though she's so far gone she barely, if ever, recognizes who he is. Rafael is at first frustrated by his father's pursuance of this idea, but after the heart attack, with a chastened eye on the more meaningful things in life, he decides to go along, even to help out with the complicated arrangements.

Son of the Bride was an Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Film and, as is too often the case with such movies these days, there's an enervating strain of sentimentality that runs through it, guaranteeing that any rough questions bought up will sooner or later be smoothed over. In this case, the most egregious example of fudging reality is in the characterization of Rafael's mother, whose feisty out-of-it non sequiturs are supposed to be funny (a seemingly charming old lady who swears a lot for no apparent reason — ha-ha!). But in the long run the situation seems rather depressing, all the more so for not being adequately acknowledged by the characters in the film.

On the plus side, Rafael is played by Ricardo Darin, who was the bearded con man in Nine Queens, and an actor capable of winning our sympathy in an unforced manner. His now-grown-up childhood friend, Juan Carlos, is played by Eduardo Blanco, a natural sad sack who gives some nuance to his role of comic relief. Which makes it all watchable — but in the end it's still a movie for people whose feel-good buttons are easily pushed.

Showing exclusively at the Detroit Film Theatre (inside the DIA, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit), Friday through Sunday. Call 313-833-3237.

E-mail Sarah Klein, James Keith La Croix, Anita Schmaltz or Richard C. Walls at letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Richard C. Walls

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 2, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation