‘Mother of the Bride’ Movie Review: A Passable Streaming Rom-Com Starring Brooke Shields

The latest Brooke Shields led romance, Mother of the Bride, is now streaming, but should you give it a watch?

Andrew Morgan What's on Netflix Avatar

Mother Of The Bride Movie Review

Picture: Netflix

From Netflix Rom-Com Super Producer Brad Krevoy (The Princess Switch Franchise, Irish Wish), Mother of the Bride reunites Krevoy with star & executive producer Brooke Shields (Suddenly Susan, Blue Lagoon) after their successful 2021 holiday film A Castle For Christmas.

The film also reunites Krevoy with past collaborator Robin Bernheim Burger, who wrote all 3 Princess Switch films over the past several years.

Directed by Mean Girls director Mark Waters (who is working on a new project for Netflix called La Dolce Villa), Mother of the Bride centers on mother-daughter pair Lana & Emma Winslow (played by Shields & former iCarly star Miranda Cosgrove). Lana returns from her job abroad with the news that she is newly engaged to R.J. (Sean Teale) with plans for an all-expenses paid destination wedding in Thailand in a month’s time.

While it may seem that Emma’s sudden bombshell or the timing & travel of the wedding itself might be the hardest surprise to take, Lana is taken aback once again as she is introduced to R.J.’s father Will (played by Law & Order & Miss Congeniality star Benjamin Bratt), the former college flame that broke Lana’s heart many years ago.

Filmed almost entirely on the island of Phuket in Thailand, the film benefits from keeping the film small with a tight cast that seemed to grow close off set and bring that energy on set. The chemistry between old friends & old flames makes up the majority of the best scenes in the film. Supporting roles from Rachael Harris (Suits, The Daily Show), Michael McDonald (MadTV), & Wilson Cruz (My So-Called Life, Star Trek: Discovery) provide just enough levity & sass to pass the time between the more tense & sincere moments between Shields & Bratt.

As far as romantic leads go, Shields & Bratt do an admirable job for the limited time they get together. While it may get cringy at times (“the pickleball scene” and others), they make it work more often than not. While I may think the ending to their story may be a tad too much given their past & limited present, the movie’s lighter tone can spare the moment of incredulity.

Mother Of The Bride Netflix Original Movie May 2024

Cr. Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix © 2024

While the destination wedding may have helped the cast to gel and the awkward romance to work, the social media wedding & the branding/corporate/sponsorship angle gave me ample time to second screen and take notes as it was mostly insufferable, well-worn material from innumerable streaming & cable rom-coms in the modern era. Miranda Cosgrove makes every effort to salvage these scenes with a solid performance, but unfortunately, she only gets a few scenes to really make her mark on the film outside of the wedding doldrums.

Ultimately, your enjoyment level will come down to Brooke Shields, an actress who seems to have found her later stage niche with Netflix, playing the overstressed, successful woman of a certain age who reluctantly finds love when she least expects it. While the films may not rise to the higher ranks of the genre, Shields seems to surround herself with deep casts of talent in front of & behind the camera in order to make the most of this level of production. She seems to be comfortable with being the heavy, the butt of the joke, & the center of the romance all at once and that is tough to pull off unless you’re all the way bought in and it seems, whether it always works or not, she definitely is.

Overall, Mother of the Bride is a passable streaming rom-com that will pair well with a glass of wine – or mai tai – on a Friday evening for fans of the genre. Shields and Bratt show off their charms & toned physiques just enough to engage their audience. While patches of the story’s lesser elements may send you looking at your phone or for snacks in the fridge, the movie’s mostly light & airy tone and solid supporting cast will help get you to the nuptial’s final moments.

Watch Mother of the Bride If You Liked

  • A Castle for Christmas
  • iCarly
  • He’s All That
  • Miss Congeniality

MVP of Mother of the Bride

Over 40 Beach Bods!

While destination wedding rom-coms may be back in style with Anyone But You’s success, most people hope for the young couples to be the one to be showing off their summer ready bodies (Powell & Sweeney being the extreme examples).

However, the over-40 crowd will be checking on their gym membership status after seeing the tightly toned and sometimes ripped cast of Mother of the Bride! On the younger side, former CW heartthrob Chad Michael Murray makes me feel terrible about being slightly younger than him as he plays the young doctor who apparently spends as much time in the gym as he does the clinic. Wilson Cruz seems crazy-jacked for an activist actor. Rachael Harris & Michael McDonald seem way more beach-ready than most character actors I know. And of course, Benjamin Bratt & Brooke Shields take their star power bods to the islands in style making us forget they are in the 55+ bracket! They must all play HOURS of pickleball to keep up those physiques.


If you enjoyed Shields in the past, especially in A Castle for Christmas, you’ll enjoy this one enough. Some cringe, but it is a mostly harmless & smooth ride compared to its streaming rom-com competition.

Written by

Andrew Morgan is a film critic & podcaster with 20 years of experience on the sets & offices of film & television. Current podcast host of the entertainment review show, Recent Activity. He lives in the Northeast of the United States.