Baby of the Bride (1991) Review With RiffTrax

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Baby of the Bride (1991): 4 out of 10: Hey it is a Christmas movie. Well Bridgett and Mary Jo take on a Lifetime movie before there were Lifetime movies. Or a double bill with Hollywood After Dark, perhaps.

“Baby of the Bride” (1991) continues the story of Margret and John Hix shortly after their honeymoon, portrayed by Rue McClanahan and Ted Shackelford respectively, with a notable change in tone from its predecessor, “Children of the Bride”. The film picks up with a recreated wedding photo, replacing Patrick Duffy with Shackelford, and shifts focus to the unexpected pregnancy of 53-year-old Margret.

John, now portrayed less saintly by Shackelford, reacts poorly, blaming Margret for their predicament and showing little empathy. The film explores family dynamics and unresolved issues from the first movie, including the pregnancy of former nun Mary and the challenges faced by Margret’s children.

Despite its attempts at humor and drama, the plot often feels contrived and lacks cohesion, particularly in John’s character development and the resolution of various subplots.

The Good

The Good: Against all better judgement, I have a soft spot for actress Anne Bobby. I like her romance with the cop who is also pleasant. The direction by the late Bill Bixby is solid. The movie manages to stuff an amazing amount of plot into its running time. Especially (as Mary Jo and Bridgette point out in thier RiffTrax commentary) all the actors pause between thier lines sometimes for a comical length of time.

The Bad

The Bad: Alright, let’s start with the chase before we get in the weeds. Rue McClanahan was 59 when she made this film and she is supposed to be a spry 53. Her younger husband is played by Ted Shackelford and while in real life he was in his mid forties, he could pass for 39. This film takes place in 1991 and the girls peg him correctly as a dollar store Corbin Benson.

Rue Looks old in this. That is not a judgement call. She does. Hell, she looked old in Hollywood After Dark (Walk the Angry Beach) and that was from 1968. The woman was born looking forty. Her love scenes with her boy toy husband have an ick factor attached to them. Alas, not as strong an ick factor as the interior decoration of her house. (I do need to send a copy of this film to home decor YouTuber Nick Lewis this April first.)

Leaving aside the various attacks of the visual spectrum. Let’s start with the Dollar Store Corbin Benson. Look, I understand his surprise that Rue became preggers. I mean, in real life in 1991, one would be calling Hard Copy or the National Enquirer with the story.

But despite his apparent endless lust for Rue (He wants to have sex with her in every European capital). He reacts to the pregnancy by basically going out for smokes. He is supposedly a church deacon and a serious man who in the previous movie had to convince Rue’s adult children he was not some sort of psycho for wanting to have sex with thier mother and now he is fleeing.

Somehow he is framed as not being the bad guy in this film and Rue feels she put too much on his plate. OMFG. He is a monster, no matter how you slice it. Okay, maybe not monster per se, but definitely an asshole.

I will get to the various kids in a minute (And they are a large part of the film) but first I do have to agree with Bridgette and company that the wallpaper and the various plum furniture and plum carpeting are not helping anyone. I don’t really know how to explain this, but the house ages Rue at least ten years. It is the ultimate Grandma house.

Plus, why is he moving in? Was he homeless? He was a middle-aged man. Did he not have a house of his own? Did he marry her for the real estate? This almost seems like a Lifetime movie about a murderous gigolo and they changed scripts after the first act.

The Ugly

The Ugly: Okay, this is a pet peeve, but still. In “The Dark Knight Rises” there is a scene where the bad guys have bankrupted Bruce Wayne. Yes, I understand that the way they do it is basically impossible in real life and the entire plot of the movie is beyond stupid. But this is about a particular trope.

Soon after the scene where Bane and his gang invade the New York Stock exchange and force Wayne Enterprises to go bankrupt at gunpoint. (Even typing it out makes my brain hurt.) Bruce Wayne goes back to Wayne Manor only to find out that the electric has been cut off due to nonpayment. And yes, that is where I lose it. I feel like the old ladies in the meme. That is not how this works, that is not how any of this works.

Needless to say, the electric company does not cut off your electricity if they hear your company’s stock was driven to zero by a masked gunman no one can understand.

So back to “Baby of the Bride” wayward overachieving son (John Wesley Shipp) is fired from his job by his boss who is sleeping with him. He goes out the next day to the golf club to interview for another job with one of his former clients and his credit card declines.

That is not how unemployment works. Unless he was using his company card (Which would be a different kettle of fish) he has at least six weeks before he should run into issues.

Come to think of it though, he was fired because of cutbacks and he had the lowest performance (In sales I am assuming his boss seemed pretty satisfied with his other performance)

Actually, that means he was not really fired at all. That is called a layoff, and it is a very different animal that usually comes with severance. I don’t know why his card declining in such a silly scene bothered me so but it did.

We then have the underachieving son (Conor O’Farrell) who has two daughters with a woman who left him a few years ago. She shows up cleaned up with a new husband in tow (Who is a dead ringer for an eighties porn star with his Harry Reems mustache)

So his goal is to escape his ex-girlfriend by going to Canada with his daughters. He seems to have no money or means of support and a truck that looks like it could go twenty miles on a good day (How it got from Florida to California is a mystery that Baby of the Bride does not tackle). Hell, he does not seem to even own a shirt that covers his midriff. How he is not the bad guy in this movie is beyond me.

And then, seemingly teleported from a Christmas movie, we have the daughter Kristy McNichol, who is a pregnant nun with no apparent father involved and, of course, she gives birth on Christmas. Which is how we get a baby, if not the titular baby, to show up just in time for the end credits photo. That is right, the baby of the bride never shows in the Baby of the Bride. Instead, we get some unmarried nun scab baby.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion: Baby of the Bride is awful in a good way. Way way to much plot with some horrible people doing horrible things but all is forgiven because love motherhood or Christmas. The follow up Mother of the Bride (1993) is just as stupid and even crazier but has fewer characters through the use of a well-timed mid-movie funeral and basically turning the sons into glorified cameos. It also has a much nicer house.

I can’t describe how horrifying the house is in “Baby of the Bride”. But that awfulness is part of the charm. A charm that really comes into its own with the RiffTrax commentary.

RiffTrax Review

RiffTrax Version 9 out of 10: I could listen all day long to Bridget Jones and Mary Jo Pehl comment on couches, and wallpaper and general furnishings. The house in this movie is a horror show and our ladies nail it. “Oh my God, the floral wallpaper is invading the kitchen” they cackle at one point.

Baby of the Bride seems almost the perfect movie for these two. They get all the soap opera references. They know all the actors from other things. There is talk about childbirth and marriage and Christmas Mass. It is squarely in thier comfort zone.

And they are having such fun doing it. The joy Bridget and Mary Jo have watching the movie comes across in the commentary. Thier observations are keen and well thought out. Thier criticism is usually fair and always hilarious. One of the best RiffTrax I have heard from the pair.

It is not like he had no clues that she was a little crazy.
Brigette and Mary Jo both felt this was way too close for a mother and son moment.
While this couch is technically in the daughters’ apartment, I will allow it.
Hey are we almost done here? My mustache and I have to get back to the set of Talk Dirty to Me IV.
How bad are the furnishings in the house? The movie had to do an exorcism.
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