This charming remake of the Spencer Tracy classic has Steve Martin as George Banks, a sardonic, excitable manufacturer of athletic shoes. He's a man who believes in seat belts and curfews. He loves his house, his town, his wife, Nina (a blessedly restrained Diane Keaton), and his two kids.
In fact, he's leaving work early to welcome home his daughter, Annie, who has been studying architecture in Italy. Annie (Kimberly Williams, in a fetching performance) has a little surprise for the family: She's engaged to this wonderful boy she met abroad. "He's like you, Dad," she enthuses. "Except he's brilliant." And he'll be over in an hour.
George is unnerved. For one thing, the fiancé (George Newbern) is wearing a competitor's sneakers. For another, he resembles someone George saw on America's Most Wanted. But with an inward curse, George gives his blessing. There follows a confrontation with the young man's nouveau riche parents—as well as an unforgettable meeting with the haughty, high-priced wedding coordinator (Martin Short, in a hilarious turn). Aside from a few unnecessary pratfalls, Steve Martin is funny and touching as a man about to lose his beloved daughter and—if the wedding coordinator prevails—his shirt. (PG)