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El hijo de la novia
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Reviews & Ratings for
Son of the Bride More at IMDbPro »El hijo de la novia (original title)

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29 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful touching jewel

Author: armstrongd_uk from United Kingdom
8 May 2005

My wife 'found' this film, of which I hadn't heard, in our local video shop and I'm so delighted she did.

The central performance of Rafael was a tour de force - this actor stands very strong beside the likes of Pacino, and I can imagine him in many of the earlier 'gangster with hidden depth' roles the latter excelled in. He was so believable as the 'godfather' neighbourhood restaurateur. The other principal actors were also brilliant, although in my opinion Eduardo Blanco as the comedic interest overegged and hammed a little too much in a couple of scenes, eg as bogus priest. But that is nitpicking in one of the most memorable romantic films I've ever seen.

I totally agree with one of the reviewers who compared and contrasted to the dreadful film travesty made of 'The Notebook'recently which missed all the buttons around Alzheimers and real people with real believable feelings and reactions. I also agree that while if this product had been American with J Nicholson, etc it would have been a surefire Oscar winner, it would actually have been ruined by the Hollywood treatment...

Thanks you Argentina, and I hope to see much more of Senor Darin before long.

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32 out of 36 people found the following review useful:


Author: cdvoice415 from Guangzhou, China
28 June 2004

I had seen this film for two times, at the first time I believed it one of the best movies I had ever seen alreadly. The story was very very funny and deeply moving.It's quite difficult to find this kind of films, because most of the films nowadays lose sight of the most important thing in a film--the real human emotion,the real lives, the real feelings, the real love.Most of the movies were too sweet,or too violent,or too erotic. The actors and actoresses all given the best performance,even the little girl--Ricado's daugther in the secens. I love it!It should have won the Oscar!

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25 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Impossible not to like...

Author: Frederick from London, England
5 September 2003

Very sweet mid-life crisis movie from Argentina starring the brilliant

Ricardo Darín from 'Nine Queens'. Darin plays Rafael, a driven

restaurant owner who's stressed lifestyle and continuous intake of

ristrettos and cigarettes earns him a heart attack. Lying in his

hospital bed he resolves to start 'a new cycle', simplifying his life.

This proves harder than he expects. Gorgeous younger girlfriend

Nat wants commitment, ex-wife Sandra heaps scorn on his

neuroses and his dapper father wants financial help in enacting a

touching gesture to his wife of 44 years: a proper wedding


Rafael is assisted in meeting these challenges by the appearance

of an old friend, Juan Carlos. Played with memorable comic

energy by Eduardo Blanco (a kind of Argentine Roberto Benigni),

Juan Carlos' loyalty and friendship - and the story of his own

triumph over tragic life circumstances - helps Rafael understand

the treasure he possesses without appreciating it: family.

It may sound kind of soppy, and at moments 'Son of the Bride'

does teeter into sentimentality, but on the whole this is a

consistently entertaining movie, the best of its kind I've seen in a

long time. The film's script is very nearly brilliant, stuffed full of bon

mots and witty asides, from the Padre describing his new speaker

system as 'omnipresent' to Juan Carlos' Jesus-Christ-as-

Maradonna joke.

But its quality lies in more than just a list of gleaming one-liners

and 'zingy' exchanges. There's acres of depth here too, in passing

observations about the universality of corruption in modern day

Argentina, to wry observations about the hypocrisy of the church.

Campanella covers a lot of bases - much more so than comparable comedies from the US - without ever losing his

lightness of touch. It's this that raises 'Son of the Bride' above the

mass and makes it a movie that I'm actually very keen to see


Impossible not to like, then, and if the ending doesn't leave you

with a tear in your eye, you're a heartless swine.

I actually caught 'Son of the Bride' last night in a double with 'Nine


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18 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Great Latin America film making!

Author: Franco-23
19 November 2002

This is a real jewel from Argentina... at a time when some viewers are knowing Latin American film making through tasteless stories, I highly recommend "El hijo de la novia". The story is full of discovery and emotions. It touches the importance of the family and the values, it deals with serious issues with a touch of humor, and a lot of class. The rhythm of the story is well balanced and the characters are very real and likeable. Don't miss it! (9/10)

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16 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

One of the best films ever... has it all.

Author: Andrés Susic from Buenos Aires, Argentina
20 May 2004

What else would you say if a movie offers you all this: true life comedy, real life any-day drama, touching moments, and most important: the true meaning of LOVE? Mix all this, in adequate proportions, and add a great script, and excellent performances from every actor in this film. The story has been well commented: Rafael (Ricardo Darín) is a workaholic men that spends his whole life trying to be more important that he really is, always forgetting about the ones that really care about him. But suddenly, a heart stroke and the appearance of Juan Carlos (Eduardo Blanco), a friend that he has not seen in 20 years, as a really true angel that came from the hell of a life full of tragic episodes, turns upside down Rafael's life. All this, mixed with the sacrifice that Rafael father is prepared to make: deny himself from traveling to his mother country, Italy, just to make her wife dream true: to have a wedding, in a church, before the eyes of god. This could be reasonable for any person, but the fact that his wife (Norma Aleandro) has a very advance Alzheimer disease, and his mind is elsewhere, transforms Alterio act in a truly loving and heroic one. To people around the world: go to your VHS or DVD store, and go directly to this movie. Do not fall in the usual blockbusters, that offer you more of the same. "Son of the Bride" has it all... you will not be disappointed. My score: 10 of 10.

PS: If this movie was produced in Hollywood (not likely), with Kevin Spacey, JAck Nicholson, and so, we would be taking about the best movie ever. No joke.

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22 out of 32 people found the following review useful:

Missing the point

Author: leoncio ortega ( from Monterrey, Mexico
28 October 2004

I see that people commenting about this film are missing the point in which the real purpose of the film is. The film's main purpose is to examine a situation that rises due to the severe economic crisis in Argentina. The film portrays a family that has to make an 180 turn and sacrifice the work of generations. It is an everyday life event in Argentina in which people are forced to leave its family business or life's work due to the circumstances in the country. It is movie in which the family decides to move on with their lives and yet keeping the digninty and unity of the family. It also portrays two different generations in which you see the grandfather still madly in love with its amnesiac wife and the son already divorced yet respecting and honoring the values of its previous generation. It is not meant to become an universal film yet in any country with sever economic crisis, stories like this develop everyday.

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11 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Muy , muy linda amigos!!!!

Author: alessioman_22 from United Kingdom
25 May 2005

A great feel-good type of film. Campanella lives up to promise and delivers yet again, as he dives head first into the story of a forty-something going through a mid-life crisis. Ricardo Darin (Rafael Belvedere) shows us why he's one of South America's biggest stars as he puts in a performance to rival "Nine Queens" (another great Argentinian film). He's complemented by Natalia Verbeke who plays his girlfriend (and who is in possession of the world's greatest smile) and Héctor Alterio and Norma Aleandro who play his parents. Aleandro in particular contributes some magnificent scenes, playing an aged woman struggling to cope with mental illness. A really good film that will restore your faith in humanity....A bit corny?? oh well.... Funny, original, and well put together. Recommended for everyone!!

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12 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

3.5 stars

Author: Mike Weston (mweston) from Silicon Valley, CA
25 April 2002

Rafael Belvedere (Ricardo Darín) runs a restaurant started by his parents, Nino (Héctor Alterio) and Norma (Norma Aleandro). While he has made it a success, a corporate buyer who wants to buy the restaurant observes that the extreme effort required to keep all of the plates spinning is like running a marathon. He is divorced and, with the constant cell phone calls and sleepless nights, doesn't seem to have much time for his daughter or girlfriend, although he seems to have genuine affection for both. He hasn't visited his mother Norma, who is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's, in a year. As the previews and the title reveal, his father Nino decides that what he wants most of all is to give Norma the church wedding she always wanted, although many wonder if she would even notice due to her mental state.

The wedding and other story turns which I won't give away help the film turn gracefully from mostly a comedy in the early going into an outstanding drama in the later parts of the film. The performances are excellent by all of the actors, helping to make all of the characters seem real. While the photography is often attractive, I would not be surprised if the film was shot on 16 mm film or even high definition video and transferred to 35 mm film for exhibition.

This film was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film, which should have given it a higher profile than it seems to have gotten. It is highly recommended, and should not lose too much seen on home video, assuming it eventually shows up there.

Note that the star, Ricardo Darín, also stars in "Nine Queens," which is opening very soon in the United States.

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14 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Here comes the bride...

Author: jotix100 from New York
11 April 2002

This is a very good film from Argentina. It would be a shame if more people fail to see this beautiful tale set in the Buenos Aires of the beginning of the century when times were better and the porteños felt on top of the world.

Director Juan Jose Campanella knows these people. He is really on their side, for they have struggled all their lives to get the family restaurant to be successful. The son, Rafael, has problems making ends meet and his life is a mess. Not only his whole world comes crashing around him, but he cannot cope with the only person that really loves him for what he is, Naty.

His father, Nino, loves Norma, even though her mind is not here any more. He doesn't miss seeing her one day. He finally realizes, too late, that secretly Norma's desire was to have been married in the church, he didn't believe in during his youth. Now he wants to make amends by marrying the wife who cannot appreciate it because of her wandering mind.

The acting is superb. Ricardo Darin gives a fine performance as Rafael. Norma Aleandro proves once more why she's a great actress and Hector Alterio is very effective in a very subtle performance. Natalia Verbeke was a revelation as she stands by her man.

All in all, this was an enjoyable time at the movies.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Classy A Hispanic feature

Author: Mozjoukine ( from Australia
11 May 2003

Great performers in an expertly mounted A feature. This one goes on too long but deserves to edge out the glossy English speaking movies which play to the same audience in the multiplexes.

The film is full of great players given the chance to do their stuff. Darin has the authority of a major leading man and it's a great pleasure to see already familiar veterans like Alterio and Aleandro in strong roles. Her spin on senility is a beautifully judged mix of touching and funny that the film needs to grab the broad public. Verbeke registers as an exceptionally vivid version of the sexy, winning fantasy girl that we keep on seeing in films.

If you want to argue that these characters are a distortion of real life you're in a different mind set to the makers and the fourteen dollars a seat customers they are playing to.

I enjoyed seeing this recognisable world of cell 'phones, old friends, resolved family tensions and gourmet food put across in an unfamiliar setting with superior film know how. It's like a good overseas holiday. The old Sascha Guitry gag of the security system picture or the finding the priest at the final wedding were worth the cheer they got at the performance I saw.

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