The cast of Father of the Bride reunited after 25 years, bringing back many original characters for a Zoom-style new story in what Netflix is calling a "special sequel." Running about a half hour long, the quasi-sequel, dubbed Father of the Bride Part 3 (ish), was made available to watch for free on Netflix's Facebook and YouTube pages. The special reunion was put together for the benefit of the non-profit organization World Central Kitchen, which works to provide meals to millions of children, families, seniors, and frontline workers.
Reprising their roles from the original Father of the Bride movies from the 1990s, the reunion special stars Steve Martin, Diane Keaton, Kieran Culkin, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Martin Short, and George Newbern. Also featured in the special in new roles were several other fan favorite Hollywood stars, including Alexandra Shipp, Florence Pugh, Ben Platt, and Robert DeNiro. Reese Witherspoon also appears to introduce the special sequel, touching on the World Central Kitchen and their mission.
Released in 1991, the first installment of this Father of the Bride franchise was a remake of the 1950 movie of the same name. It follows overprotective father George Banks (Steve Martin) and wife Nina (Keaton) as the parents of bride-to-be Annie (Williams-Paisley). The movie also featured Short as an eccentric wedding coordinator, Culkin as Annie's brother Matty, and Newbern as the groom, Bryan MacKenzie. The movie is considered a cult classic and is one of the most memorable romantic comedies of its era.
The first sequel, Father of the Bride Part II, was released in theaters in 1995. Bringing back the original cast, the sequel picks up directly where the first movie left off with Annie and Bryan now married. This time, George must also come to terms with his aging when Annie reveals that he is going to become a grandfather, only to learn that his wife Nina is also expecting a new baby girl. While not quite as financially successful as the original, the sequel was a big success at the box office.
There have been rumors of a third Father of the Bride movie that have persisted in the quarter-century since the second movie premiered. Several actors from the originals had spoken about their interest in seeing another movie made. Last year, Bob Iger had claimed that Disney was in the process of rebooting Father of the Bride for the company's Disney+ streaming service following the acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
News of a Father of the Bride reboot seemingly squashed the chances of another sequel with Steve Martin and Diane Keaton, but Netflix didn't forget about the original movies. On Sept. 22, they released a promo video vaguely teasing that "something is coming." Even if the "special sequel" wasn't quite the feature-length movie many fans were hoping for, it's still amazing to see the entire cast back together again for an update on what's happened with the Banks family.