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10 Heartwarming Facts About Father of the Bride

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The premise of 1991's Father of the Bride seems simple: George Banks’s (Steve Martin) 22-year-old daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), gets engaged to Bryan (George Newbern) after knowing him for three months. But George isn’t quite on board and quickly unravels, as his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), and the rest of his family think he’s going insane. The film gave a peek into the 1990s return to family values, with the depiction of a normal, tightly-knit nuclear family. Former real-life couple Charles Shyer and Nancy Meyers co-wrote the script, and Shyer directed.

The movie is a remake of Vincente Minnelli's Oscar-nominated film of the same name, which starred Elizabeth Taylor, Joan Bennett, and Spencer Tracy. (A TV version aired from 1961 to 1962.) That film was adapted from Edward Streeter's 1949 novel. Both films had sequels—Father’s Little Dividend was released in 1951, and Father of the Bride Part II in 1995—and the plots of both films saw the daughters having a baby.

The remake and its sequel were rather successful: Father of the Bride grossed $89 million and became the ninth highest-grossing film of 1991; Part II grossed $76 million and ranked in 17th place for the year. Here are 10 heartwarming facts about the wedding comedy.

1. STEVE MARTIN AGREED TO PLAY GEORGE BEFORE THE SCRIPT HAD BEEN WRITTEN.

In a unusual move, Steve Martin’s casting occurred before Nancy Meyers and Charles Shyer wrote the screenplay. “It’s a gift because you know you’re writing for Steve Martin, so you know you can be funny and you can be loose and you can do all these twists and turns in the scene,” Meyers told IndieWire.

2. THE STUDIO DIDN’T WANT TO WORK WITH DIANE KEATON.

Father of the Bride was the second time Diane Keaton had worked with Meyers and Shyer; the first time was 1987’s Baby Boom, and Meyers would go on to direct Keaton in 2003’s Something’s Gotta Give. “Disney Studios—Jeffrey Katzenberg at the time—didn’t ever want to work with me,” Keaton told Film Scouts. “Charles Shyer and Nancy Myers, who’d worked with me before, had to beg to get me into Father of the Bride. I was very fortunate, because they were very staunchly for me.”

Keaton said the reason Disney/Touchstone passed on her was because her box office track record wasn’t good. “Just before Father of the Bride, I’d done a movie called The Good Mother, which was a big failure. Like, big failure. And that was it! And that was a Disney movie. So when Charles and Nancy wanted me for Father of the Bride, Disney didn’t want anything with me.”

3. IT WAS THE END TO THE “HIPPIE” WEDDING.

In an interview with The Morning Call, Martin said: “This movie represents the complete death of the hippie laurel-wreath standing-on-the-mountaintop marriage. Although it’s been dead a long time, this is the first movie to see it.” He furthered explained, “I mean, the big wedding is as much of a fad as the little wedding. So, [Father of the Bride] is a statement about something that’s probably going to be around for a long time.”

4. FRANCK EGGELHOFFER WAS BASED ON A REAL WEDDING PLANNER.

Martin Short portrayed the incomprehensible, over-the-top wedding planner Franck Eggelhoffer, who he based on Kevin Lee, who assisted with Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s wedding, and makes regular appearances on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “We had a great time together,” Lee told Moviefone about working with Short.

5. A BRIDE HOUSE SOLD FOR ALMOST $2 MILLION.

The 4397-square-foot Colonial-style home, situated in Los Angeles's Alhambra neighborhood, sold for $1,998,000 in August 2016 after being on the market for only two months. The wedding reception and the basketball game were filmed at this location, but the exteriors were filmed at a Pasadena home. In 2004 the Alhambra house sold for $1.25 million, and when it sold in 2011, it increased to $1.275 million.

Owners of the Pasadena home, Sarah Bradley and Darrell Spence, told HGTV they held their wedding reception at the house. They also said couples have proposed outside of the home, and fans of the movie and house felt “protective” when the family replaced the white picket fence. “Neighbors would see the construction and panic,” Bradley said. “We had to convince them they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference once we were done.” The couple paid $950,000 for the house in 1999, but it’s now worth $2,764,841.

6. THE WEDDING COST A WHOPPING $249,323.

BeFrugal.com broke down the wedding costs of the weddings at the center of Father of the Bride, Bridesmaids, Sex and the City, and a few other movies. Because Annie and Bryan got hitched in her parents’ backyard, the venue was free. However, Annie’s dress cost $68,000. With 572 guests at $250 per head, George shelled out $143,000 on wedding reception food. The bridesmaid dresses tacked on an additional $10,000, and flying in nine relatives from Copenhagen smacked George with a $10,323 price tag. That’s a lot, considering the median American wedding costs about $15,000.

7. MARTIN SHORT “SOFTENED” FRANCK’S ACCENT FOR FATHER OF THE BRIDE PART II.

At first, Short didn’t want to do a sequel. During a 1995 interview with Charlie Rose, Short said, “Only because it seemed like the character was such an extreme spice in the first one and it kind of had been successful and you didn’t want to taint it with an appearance.” Upon reading the script, he changed his mind. “I soften the accent a little bit,” he said. “In the first one, the character really existed as a comedic bone of contention for Steve Martin,” because everyone could understand what Franck said except George. “In this one, that’s one joke,” Short continued. “In the sequel, no one at any point says, ‘What did he say?’ Because we’ve done that. So I softened the accent a little bit without losing the character.”

8. KIMBERLY WILLIAMS-PAISLEY WORE SNEAKERS TO HER OWN WEDDING.

George Banks produces athletic shoes for a living, so in the movie, he creates a special pair for Annie to wear on her wedding day. When Kimberly Williams married country star Brad Paisley in 2003, she also donned sneakers. “Down the aisle, I wore heels, but then the rest of it I wore sneakers with the heels,” she told Glamour. “It makes perfect sense to wear sneakers because it’s such a long night.”

9. FRANCK DOESN’T THINK MUCH OF KIM KARDASHIAN.

When Short appeared on the show The Talk in 2014, the hostesses asked Short, as Franck, what he thought about Kim Kardashian. “He would say, ‘She is not bright; I did her dress,’” Short said in Franck’s accent. “She thinks soy milk is Spanish for ‘I am milk.’”

10. MARTIN THINKS FATHER OF THE BRIDE IS A “PERFECT STORY.”

“Well, I tend to think there's movie families, and then there are families,” Martin told The Morning Call. “What I mean is—I’m not demeaning the movie at all—it’s kind of a wish family. It’s like the perfect statement of a beautiful problem: Your daughter’s getting married.” He said emotions swelled from the mundanity of getting married. “It’s a perfect story because what happens is so minor, and yet the emotions are so big. It’s like the birth of a baby. It’s so common, happening all the time, and yet it’s one of the most powerful, large things that can happen to you.”

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Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
The 10 Wildest Movie Plot Twists
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Laura Harring in Mulholland Drive (2001)
Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

An ending often makes or breaks a movie. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as having the rug pulled out from under you, particularly in a thriller. But too many flicks that try to shock can’t stick the landing—they’re outlandish and illogical, or signal where the plot is headed. Not all of these films are entirely successful, but they have one important attribute in common: From the classic to the cultishly beloved, they involve hard-to-predict twists that really do blow viewers’ minds, then linger there for days, if not life. (Warning: Massive spoilers below.)

1. PSYCHO (1960)

Alfred Hitchcock often constructed his movies like neat games that manipulated the audience. The Master of Suspense delved headfirst into horror with Psycho, which follows a secretary (Janet Leigh) who sneaks off with $40,000 and hides in a motel. The ensuing jolt depends on Leigh’s fame at the time: No one expected the ostensible star and protagonist to die in a gory (for the time) shower butchering only a third of the way into the running time. Hitchcock outdid that feat with the last-act revelation that Anthony Perkins’s supremely creepy Norman Bates is embodying his dead mother.

2. PLANET OF THE APES (1968)

No, not the botched Tim Burton remake that tweaked the original movie’s famous reveal in a way that left everyone scratching their heads. The Charlton Heston-starring sci-fi gem continues to stupefy anyone who comes into its orbit. Heston, of course, plays an astronaut who travels to a strange land where advanced apes lord over human slaves. It becomes clear once he finds the decrepit remains of the Statue of Liberty that he’s in fact on a future Earth. The anti-violence message, especially during the political tumult of 1968, shook people up as much as the time warp.

3. DEEP RED (1975)

It’s not rare for a horror movie to flip the script when it comes to unmasking its killer, but it’s much rarer that such a film causes a viewer to question their own perception of the world around them. Such is the case for Deep Red, Italian director Dario Argento’s (Suspiria) slasher masterpiece. A pianist living in Rome (David Hemmings) comes upon the murder of a woman in her apartment and teams up with a female reporter to find the person responsible. Argento’s whodunit is filled to the brim with gorgeous photography, ghastly sights, and delirious twists. But best of all is the final sequence, in which the pianist retraces his steps to discover that the killer had been hiding in plain sight all along. Rewind to the beginning and you’ll discover that you caught an unknowing glimpse, too.

4. SLEEPAWAY CAMP (1983)

Sleepaway Camp is notorious among horror fans for a number of reasons: the bizarre, stilted acting and dialogue; hilariously amateurish special effects; and ‘80s-to-their-core fashions. But it’s best known for the mind-bending ending, which—full disclosure—reads as possibly transphobic today, though it’s really hard to say what writer-director Robert Hiltzik had in mind. Years after a boating accident that leaves one of two siblings dead, Angela is raised by her aunt and sent to a summer camp with her cousin, where a killer wreaks havoc. In the lurid climax, we see that moody Angela is not only the murderer—she’s actually a boy. Her aunt, who always wanted a daughter, raised her as if she were her late brother. The final animalistic shot prompts as many gasps as cackles.

5. THE USUAL SUSPECTS (1995)

The Usual Suspects has left everyone who watches it breathless by the time they get to the fakeout conclusion. Roger "Verbal" Kint (Kevin Spacey), a criminal with cerebral palsy, regales an interrogator in the stories of his exploits with a band of fellow crooks, seen in flashback. Hovering over this is the mysterious villainous figure Keyser Söze. It’s not until Verbal leaves and jumps into a car that customs agent David Kujan realizes that the man fabricated details, tricking the law and the viewer into his fake reality, and is in fact the fabled Söze.

6. PRIMAL FEAR (1996)

No courtroom movie can surpass Primal Fear’s discombobulating effect. Richard Gere’s defense attorney becomes strongly convinced that his altar boy client Aaron (Edward Norton) didn’t commit the murder of an archbishop with which he’s charged. The meek, stuttering Aaron has sudden violent outbursts in which he becomes "Roy" and is diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, leading to a not guilty ruling. Gere’s lawyer visits Aaron about the news, and as he’s leaving, a wonderfully maniacal Norton reveals that he faked the multiple personalities.

7. FIGHT CLUB (1999)

Edward Norton is no stranger to taking on extremely disparate personalities in his roles, from Primal Fear to American History X. The unassuming actor can quickly turn vicious, which led to ideal casting for Fight Club, director David Fincher’s adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel. Fincher cleverly keeps the audience in the dark about the connections between Norton’s timid, unnamed narrator and Brad Pitt’s hunky, aggressive Tyler Durden. After the two start the titular bruising group, the plot significantly increases the stakes, with the club turning into a sort of anarchist terrorist organization. The narrator eventually comes to grips with the fact that he is Tyler and has caused all the destruction around him.

8. THE SIXTH SENSE (1999)

Early in his career, M. Night Shyamalan was frequently (perhaps a little too frequently) compared to Hitchcock for his ability to ratchet up tension while misdirecting his audience. He hasn’t always earned stellar reviews since, but The Sixth Sense remains deservedly legendary for its final twist. At the end of the ghost story, in which little Haley Joel Osment can see dead people, it turns out that the psychologist (Bruce Willis) who’s been working with the boy is no longer living himself, the result of a gunshot wound witnessed in the opening sequence.

9. THE OTHERS (2001)

The Sixth Sense’s climax was spooky, but not nearly as unnerving as Nicole Kidman’s similarly themed ghost movie The Others, released just a couple years later. Kidman gives a superb performance in the elegantly styled film from the Spanish writer-director Alejandro Amenábar, playing a mother in a country house after World War II protecting her photosensitive children from light and, eventually, dead spirits occupying the place. Only by the end does it become clear that she’s in denial about the fact that she’s a ghost, having killed her children in a psychotic break before committing suicide. It’s a bleak capper to a genuinely haunting yarn.

10. MULHOLLAND DRIVE (2001)

David Lynch’s surrealist movies may follow dream logic, but that doesn’t mean their plots can’t be readily discerned. Mulholland Drive is his most striking work precisely because, in spite of its more wacko moments, it adds up to a coherent, tragic story. The mystery starts innocently enough with the dark-haired Rita (Laura Elena Harring) waking up with amnesia from a car accident in Los Angeles and piecing together her identity alongside the plucky aspiring actress Betty (Naomi Watts). It takes a blue box to unlock the secret that Betty is in fact Diane, who is in love with and envious of Camilla (also played by Harring) and has concocted a fantasy version of their lives. The real Diane arranges for Camilla to be killed, leading to her intense guilt and suicide. Only Lynch can go from Nancy Drew to nihilism so swiftly and deftly.

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iStock
Hollywood's 5 Favorite Movie Villains
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iStock

Movie villains are meant to bring out the best in a hero, but with the right script, director, and performer in place, these bad guys can sometimes steal the show from their clean-cut rivals.

Take any horror movie, for example—chances are you’re not watching Friday the 13th to root for the absentminded teenagers down at Camp Crystal Lake. And Steven Spielberg certainly didn’t become a household name by directing a shark movie titled Three Guys on a Boat Drinking Narragansett.

The Hollywood Reporter set out to celebrate these iconic agents of evil by surveying 1000 professionals in the entertainment industry (directors, producers, entertainment attorneys, etc.) on their favorite movie villains. A rogues' gallery of murderous AI, mafia bosses, and a diabolical fashion magazine editor all made the top 25 list as the worst of the worst, and while they’re all deserving, the top five are the gold standard. They include:

5. Nurse Ratched: Played by Louise Fletcher in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
4. The Joker: Played by Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight (2008)
3. The Wicked Witch of the West: Played by Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz (1939)
2. Hannibal Lecter: Played by Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001), and Red Dragon (2002)
1. Darth Vader: Played by David Prowse and James Earl Jones in the Star Wars movies (Prowse 1977-1983, Jones 1977-present)

That top spot might not come as a surprise to most, unless you’re still in your twenties: According to The Hollywood Reporter, survey respondents in that age group put Darth Vader in the sixth spot—behind Regina George from Mean Girls.

To check out the entire list, head to The Hollywood Reporter.

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