SON OF THE BRIDE
This light-fingered Argentinean drama, which was one of the recent Oscar nominees for Best Foreign Language Film, offers a quieter version of the midlife-crisis roller coaster. Rafael (Ricardo Darin), a devoted restaurateur, has a sexy, adoring girlfriend (Natalia Verbeke) as well as a beguiling daughter from a failed marriage. But he’s also an arrogant narcissist with no time for anyone. Naturally, fate intervenes. He suffers a minor heart attack, and one of his childhood friends shows up; the pal (Eduardo Blanco) has become a life-affirming bozo who looks and acts like a penny-ante Roberto Benigni. Finally, there’s Rafael’s mother (Norma Aleandro), who is drifting into the fog of Alzheimer’s. To buoy the situation, his father decides to ”marry” her again. Son of the Bride has an appealing modesty, but director Juan Jose Campanella works so hard to keep everything soft and winsome and charming that he cushions the understatement into blandness.