Legends in their respective crafts, Gloria Estefan and Andy Garcia have been friends for 30 years now – dating at least as far back to when the Oscar-nominated Garcia played an unseen waiter in the Miami Sound Machine singer’s music video for her 1993 single “I See Your Smile.” They also costarred in the 2000 HBO biopic For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, and Garcia, who plays the bongos, has drummed with Estefan’s band.
But the pair work closer than ever in Father of the Bride, the latest movie adaptation of Edward Streeter’s 1949 novel, previously adapted into 1950 comedy starring Spencer Tracy and, later, its perhaps more famous version, the 1991 rom-com favorite starring Steve Martin.
They play the patriarch and matriarch of a well-to-do Cuban-American family in Miami whose older daughter (Adria Arjona) abruptly announces she’s engaged to a man (Diego Boneta) they’ve never met. Only this time, the parents’ decades-long marriage is on the rocks, and they have to hide their plans to divorce until the celebration.
It’s one of many new updates for the third Father of the Bride movie, including the film’s predominantly Latino/Latinx cast (the groom’s uber-rich family is Mexican).
“It was a great feather in Warner Brothers’ cap to take this very sort of precious IP and give it a new identity and trusting us with it,” Garcia, also joined by Estefan, tells Yahoo Entertainment during a virtual press day for the film (watch above). “So I felt a great honor and a responsibility. The movie has other thematics, but it was important to get both cultures right without stereotypes and idiosyncrasies of character, you know, behavior and points of view. But to have a respect for who these people are.”
“Growing up, you’d [watch] Hollywood put all us Latinos under one umbrella, because it’s easier for them to not have to differentiate,” says Isabela Merced (Dora and the Lost City of Gold), who plays Garcia and Estefan’s younger daughter. But in this movie in particular, it feels like they’re really emphasizing the importance of our cultural differences.”
“I can’t think of another Hollywood movie that’s had two Latin cultures in the film, showing the differences and similarities,” explains Boneta (Terminator: Dark Fate). “You know, just because we speak Spanish, Cuba’s not Mexico. And I think it’s great that Warner Brothers and [director Gaz Alazraki] pushed for that because that’s where the comedy and where the fun in this movie lies. It’s culturally specific, while at the same time being universally themed. It’s not just a movie for Latinx people. It’s not a Latinx remake, if that makes sense.”
As Estefan, Arjona (Morbius) and costar Chloe Fineman (Saturday Night Live) point out, it’s also a more contemporary twist on a classic story. The women have more agency in this film than we’ve seen in past iterations. It’s the woman who proposes to the man here.
“I’m really excited to see the one they’ll make in 20 years,” says Arjona. “I think Father of the Bride will be forever evolving.”
—Video produced by Jen Kucsak and edited by Luisa Guerrero
Father of the Bride is now streaming on HBO Max.
Watch the trailer: