Father of the Bride is a well-made light comedy, enhanced by a radiant performance from Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy at his subtle, comic best. The film encapsulates the self-image of the United States in 1950, depicting a traditional two-parent family's passing along the fundamental ritual of marriage. As such, it effectively defines what is sometimes referred to as a "family values" film, never mind that the United States in the 1950s may hardly have been this homogenized and wholesome. If not as opulent as MGM films of the Irving Thalberg era, Father of the Bride nonetheless represents the type of high-quality studio film often produced in the post-WWII era. It was a huge financial success, and it is sometimes cited as evidence that the reputation of director Vincente Minnelli has come to center too much on his musicals and not enough on his broader work, such as this comedy.