Having ran from home as a youth, Eichi heads back to the island of Okinawa to present his new bride to his family and ask for their blessing. After learning his father has passed, Eichi has to request the blessing from his mother and grandmother with whom he has had a rocky past. The family decides they can only accept the new bride if she is able to learn and perform a ‘sending off’ ritual based on traditions from Okinawa.
“Mother of the Groom” offers up an endearing crash course in some traditions of the Okinawa region, by taking an outsider and getting her to take on the traditions to gain approval. The clash between mother and bride to be is a common trope, and although there is not much in the way of originality, the production carries a simple charm in it’s approach to representing the island of Okinawa, mostly through subtle humor. The manner in which the stubbornness of small town vs big city mentality stays consistent, and culminates in a fitting, yet humorous, deception on behalf of the mother and grandmother.
The technical aspects of the production are slightly lacking, in particular the lighting throughout is of poor quality, and there are some awkwardly framed shots. However, there is nothing that is too detrimental to the overall presentation and story. The performances also suffer from inconsistency, with his initial meeting of the characters turning into obnoxious fighting. Thankfully, the script is able to pick up and add more depth to it’s subjects beyond ‘angry arguing family’.
“Mother of the Bride” is not going to make a huge impression on fans of drama or comedy, with a plot that is a bit too familiar and unoriginal. However, there are some nice nuanced choices and concepts put forward, made more intriguing by Okinawa culture, that give the film an undeniable charm. personally, I really enjoyed the conclusion of the short and appreciated a crash course in a few of the traditions from the scenic island culture.