To help prep me for Christmas in July, Hallmark’s attempt at capturing lightning in a bottle, I’m going to look at the last of their June Weddings series: Sister of the Bride.
I suspect this has something to do with a sister who just never gets married, therefore, she is broken and of little value. I could be completely wrong, but even if I am, Hallmark has definitely produced a film like that before.
Anyway, synopsis time!
After only 6 months of dating, Stephanie and Ben get engaged and are delighted to share the news. However, they hit a road bump when Stephanie’s parents show concern that the couple has moved too fast. Starring Becca Tobin and Ryan Rottman.
We open with a Cultural Anthropology teacher talking about customs. Which one? Marriage. She must be over 30. I believe the students are in college.
Suddenly, a cello begins to play outside. The students rush to the window while the teacher, Stephanie, investigates. Her boyfriend, Ben, hired a cellist to interrupt her class for their anniversary. I’d be pissed if I was paying for this – unless this is high school (hooray for public school). Boyfriend proposes and teacher says “yes.”
The couple goes home to pack. They want to break the news to Stephanie’s family and spend the 4th of July with them. Ben shares that he scared to do this because he’s only met Stephanie’s parents once. We also learn he is a professor and she is almost tenured.
After the phone call, Mom asks Dad if he told Stephanie that they’re selling the mansion. Dad says no. Will this be the thing that causes the inevitable hijinks and misunderstandings?
Ben and Stephanie drive to the beloved family vacation house. She explains that the country club throws a “super fun jamboree” on the 4th of July. Rich people, they’re just like us! Stephanie and Ben agree that they should get married at the house on Independence Day.
They arrive and Mom is just jazzed about something. A new pony for polo? Stephanie and Ben are puzzled and follow mom into the backyard where Stephanie’s sister, Tracey, and her boyfriend, Preston, are waiting. Tracey reveals that there’s going to be a wedding! Stephanie is uber confused as to how the family found out about her secret. It turns out that both sisters are to be wed.
Dad isn’t all that thrilled as he doesn’t know Ben and comments that couple have only been together for a few months (six to be exact). Dad then passes some shady remarks which makes everyone uncomfortable.
Tracey keeps the bombshells rolling by saying that she wants to get married at the house on Independence Day. She took Stephanie’s idea! Either that, or they’re both equally unimaginative. Stephanie says that she and Ben can wait another year if sis wants to get married in this one. With the 4th of July only four weeks away, the family wedding planner has their work cut out for them.
The next morning, Ben and Stephanie arrive at the breakfast table. Mom tells them that Preston and Dad have gone to play golf. They didn’t wait for Ben because they wanted an early tee time. Dad is catty. Ben shrugs it off as he doesn’t know much about golf.
Stephanie and Tracey talk wedding prep. This is mental because it seems they intend to mail out invitations to a wedding that’s in four weeks. This is where the e-vite becomes handy. But maybe they’re rich enough to have it droned to people’s mansions.
After breakfast, Ben and Stephanie run into the family’s real estate broker who explains that the house is on the market. Stephanie is shocked!
Dad explains that they’re selling the house because they started their life too early. Now they wanna travel. Mom attempts to compromise by suggesting they keep the house for a year more to accommodate Ben and Stephanie’s wedding. The real estate lady HATES this idea.
Ben and Stephanie tell Mom and Dad that they can sell the place; it’s no biggie. Dad takes this opportunity to tell the couple that they can now take all the time they need to find a suitable venue. Another jab in a series.
While doing wedding prep shopping for Tracey, Ben and Stephanie learn each other’s favorite colors. They then go the family’s favorite bakery. Here they learn that they are not on the same page when it comes to the number of kids they want.
Ben gets a message that he’s in the running for a job in Oxford as an economics professor. Great news! Except Stephanie doesn’t want to go. She’s about to make tenure so this would muck that whole thing up. They have a decision to make.
The family has dinner and reminisces about yesteryear. It’s as boring as when someone tells you about their dream from last night.
The young couples visit a bar so that they can hear a potential wedding band play. Lo and behold, the lead is Stephanie’s former fiancé, Dave. It’s all very weird.
As they leave the bar, Tracey mentions that it’s a good thing Dave dumped Stephanie. This freaks Ben out a little bit. He knew about the previous engagement, but not the whole “Stephanie got dumped” part. Stephanie talks her way out of it.
The next day, Dad works on his Thunderbird.
Ben manages to insult Dad by saying he and Stephanie budgeted to pay for their wedding. They seem to smooth it over thanks to Ben’s knowledge of cars. The car brings them together. Dad even invites Ben to golf.
On the golf course, we discover that Ben isn’t as good at the game or sucking up as Preston. Preston gives Ben some pointers on golf and handling Dad. He says it’ll take six years to win Dad over.
At the vacation home, the family tests out the wedding food. (Is it normal to do the tastings at your house with a full catering staff present?) While the family disagrees on salad, Ben gets an important call. He’s been offered the Oxford job. CUT TO COMMERCIAL!
Ben and Stephanie go on a picnic to discuss their future. It’s been a heavy few days for the couple. Stephanie gives a confusing answer to the “Will you go to England” question. Ben has two weeks to decide, so they just put off making a call on it.
It’s the day of the down-home jamboree. The couples challenge each other to carnival games. You can fast-forward this whole scene.
After the fun, there’s more to panic about. Tracey and Preston have some emergency lawyer thing, so they have to fly out of town for a bit. Tracey leaves a list of things for Stephanie to do.
Stephanie has a solo wedding dress shopping montage.
Mom catches Stephanie’s impromptu wedding dress session. She coaxes her daughter out with the promise of coffee. Mom shares her concerns: she doesn’t want Stephanie to rush into things. Stephanie once again talks her way out of it.
Back at vacation home HQ, Ben learns to golf while Stephanie gets a distress call from her sister. Preston’s grandmother fell, so she can’t join. (thanks, Life Alert!) Next disaster: the flowers got lost due to a computer glitch. But who cares?
Dad and Stephanie have a heart-to-heart. She sort of wins Dad over to accepting her 6 month relationship wedding.
Next disaster: the photographer had a baby, so she can’t document the wedding. Ben and Stephanie crash a party to find a very sought-after photographer. The corner him and the poor guy is weirded out (he even says so), but he agrees to it.
Ben gets some golf lessons from Preston. It’s so boring. The (other) groom-to-be reveals that most of his family can’t make it to the wedding, so he wishes he could postpone it. Just fly them first class, Preston!
This inspires Ben to talk to Stephanie about England again. They think they might have rushed into this relationship. Stephanie suggests putting “a pin in it” while Ben goes to the UK and she stays in the prestigious Los Angeles University.
Ben takes a bus out of town??
Dad arrives to convince Ben to come back because he sees what a catch this guy is. He gives the young man his blessing and then takes off in his T-bird. The car is far too valuable to have two people in it.
At the vacation home, Tracey tells Stephanie that they’re calling off the wedding. Stephanie informs Tracey that Ben is on a bus. Sis isn’t into this and believes in true love. Stephanie takes off to find him.
Turns out, he’s already at the vacation home! The couple confesses their love for each other. Ben explains that Oxford accepted his offer of teaching for a few weeks in the summer. He then re-proposes. The family enters the scene with a wedding dress for Stephanie and says she can get married on the 4th of July. Hold on, so the family “generously” offers the wedding to Stephanie and Ben. Can Ben’s family even make it? Is he an orphan?
The couple “beats the odds” (or so Hallmark is trying to drive home) and gets married. They kiss. FIN
Um. This was pretty generic and boring. You know how in mysteries there are red herrings for the killer? I feel like this film had red herrings for what thing was going to drive them apart (and that they’d eventually overcome). There were so many “disasters”, that it felt overly repetitive.
Ben was a nice guy. Stephanie was a nice girl. I don’t feel like there was all that much character in either one of them. In any of the cast, in fact! They felt like vessels for a story. But I’m glad they got married, I guess?
- Ben looks like the brother of a Ken doll.
- This film is an advert for Palm Springs, in case you were wondering.
- I sort of wish the photographer DID report them to the police. What a twist that would’ve been.
- Ben buys Dad a missing part for the Thunderbird which makes him happy. Money CAN buy love.
- I fast forwarded the vows.
- God, I want cake.
- Preston and Tracey buy the family vacation house.
- I really want to review the next summer film where a dude and lady fall in love and there are loads of puppies. I think I’ll just have to skip it what with Christmas around the corner.