"Kiss the Bride" is the directorial debut of Vanessa Parise, who also acts in the picture. The film focuses on Danni (Amanda Detmer), who is about to get married to Geoffrey Brancato (Johnathon Schaech) as the picture begins, much to her disbelief. This results in her entire Italian family being brought together once again to celebrate and deal with their own issues. If you're guessing this is another ethnic wedding picture in a genre that was exhausted by "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (which came out the same year as this was produced), then well...you'd be pretty much right.
The picture is mainly a wedding picture, but it also tries to explore the bonds and issues in regards to sisterhood and family. Joining Danni to celebrate are sisters Niki (Brooke Langton), a popular actress with a Harvard diploma; Chrissy (Vanessa Parise), a successful mutual fund manager and Toni (Monet Mazur), a popular rock singer, whose latest significant other is, to the surprise of their parents (Talia Shire and Burt Young), a woman - Amy Kayne (Alyssa Milano). The film doesn't focus on Danni, despite the wedding being the main event of the movie - the picture shifts the balance around to a lot of different characters in the family.
The screenplay's dialogue (a character actually tells another "You have to stop holding on to your baggage.") and plot points are familiar and the characters aren't terribly well-realized (few of them are compelling), but I still found it somewhat enjoyable. The performances are generally decent-to-good, and the cinematography and locations are pleasant for what's an otherwise small picture. Still, a rewrite of the screenplay could have really helped - the story is too uneventful (a montage of the characters playing football on the beach is one of a few moments of padding), the characters are too flat (and there's one or two too many) and the story doesn't do much with the familiar elements it's working with.
The film has some nice aspects, as its core is a pretty decent story about sisters and growing up, but the story doesn't do anything new and there's a few too many characters. Maybe a pleasant time-waster/rental, but that's about it.
VIDEO: "Kiss the Bride" is presented by MGM in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture quality is standard - a few minor flaws and overall quality that's pleasant, if not exceptional in any way. Sharpness and detail are usually very good, as the picture was often well-defined and crisp, although small object detail was just alright.
Some minor edge enhancement was visible in some scenes, and light pixelation was also noticed once or twice. The print seemed to be in fine shape, with some minor specks and grain, but nothing of great concern. The film's natural color palette was represented just fine here, with nice saturation and no smearing.
SOUND: "Kiss the Bride" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1. The film's soundtrack provides no surround use, but a decent spread across the front speakers. Audio quality is fine, with clear dialogue and general audio.
EXTRAS: Cast interviews, the film's trailer and promos for other MGM titles, including "When Will I Be Loved".
Final Thoughts: "Kiss the Bride" is a passable family drama that has some good moments, but the feeling of familiarity made the pace drag and the dialogue is rather weak in spots. It's a decent rental for those in the mood for a comfortable drama where everyone's problems are solved by the end.