When Kay Banks (Elizabeth Taylor) announces to her family that she'll be wedding her beau, Buckley Dunstan (Don Taylor), life for her father, middle-class lawyer Stanley (Tracy), turns inside out. His wife, Ellie (Bennett), wants Kay to have the kind of formal, idealistic nuptials she and Stanley never did, so Stanley finds himself accosted by the exhausting, never-ending business of planning a wedding — not to mention the headache of paying for one!
A buoyant, big-hearted MGM comedy featuring the wry comedic talent of Spencer Tracy, Minnelli's romp provided the original template for an idea that's been imitated countless times (as in 2000's "Meet the Parents"), but never done quite so charmingly. Tracy is side-splitting as the aggrieved, helpless dad, even when he's just making a face. Taylor makes a radiant, effervescent bride-to-be, and Bennett is marvelous too as Stanley's unflappable mate. Throughout, Minnelli keeps the whole affair (hilariously solemn heart-to-heart talks, a disastrous engagement party, lovers' spats) from derailing into broad farce. If you have to choose a "Bride," make it the original.