‘Mother Of The Bride’ Movie Recap & Ending Explained: Did Lana Agree To Marry Will Jackson?

The brand-new Netflix original starring Brooke Shields is all about the mother of the bride, who is usually a forgotten character in romantic comedies. Most of the time, they serve as a parent figure who is pressuring the daughter to consider marriage. The mother figures are usually the conservative ones who want their independent single child to find the right partner to spend the rest of their life with. This Netflix original does a flip and has a mother figure who is the center of attention at the wedding and wants to do the right thing for her daughter.

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Spoilers Ahead


Why was Emma worried about sharing the news of her engagement?

Emma Winslow worked for Discovery Resorts in London, where she was proposed marriage by her boyfriend, RJ. She immediately accepted it, only to realize she needed to inform her mother about this huge decision she had made. Emma’s mother, Dr. Lana, was a clinical researcher and single mother who raised her daughter on her own since she was eight years old. The mother and daughter were more like confidants. Emma flew down to meet her mother and convey the big news. Lana was worried, but she was confident in the choice her daughter made, despite not having met RJ or his family. 

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Emma also revealed that RJ’s company had helped her gain some traction on her social media handle, and this got the attention of her employers, who used this as an opportunity to promote their property by sponsoring her wedding at their resort in Phuket, Thailand. As per the deal, the wedding would be all over social media and tailor-made to suit both Emma and the brand image of Discovery Resorts. Nevertheless, Lana was excited about the destination wedding, and she was joined by her best friend Janice. 


Who did Lana meet at the wedding?

As Lana and her best friend Janice head to Phuket for the wedding, they finally meet RJ, the groom-to-be. Lana’s happiness was short-lived when she realized RJ was the nephew of her and Janice’s old college mate from Stanford, which makes him the son of Will Jackson. It was obvious from their first awkward meeting that Will Jackson and Lana Winslow had a romantic past that sent alarm bells ringing in RJ and Emma’s heads. Lana and Will’s initial meeting caused them to fall into a pool in the hotel property out of sheer clumsiness.

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What was Lana and Will’s story?

To dial down the awkwardness, Will invited Emma and Lana for dinner to make sure everything was normal, but the mother was still not comfortable around Will. This made Emma question her mother about their past. Lana reveals that Will and she were deeply in love, but he never conveyed his feelings. He spent most of his time partying with friends and going with the flow, but he refused to deal with or converse about what he wanted from life or the relationship. This frustrated Lana, and she was stunned when Will suddenly disappeared from her life. Out of heartbreak, Lana moved away to another state and changed her number in the hope of never running into Will. Ex-lovers met for the first time after decades, and there were many unresolved issues between the two.


Why was Emma stressed out?

Emma, on the other hand, was stressed out about the fact that the wedding needed to be perfect for social media audiences. She was constantly followed and dictated to by Camala, the brand manager, who was working as per the orders given by her bosses to make sure every aspect of the wedding would reflect how great the property would be for weddings. Keeping that in mind, Camala made most of the decisions, which included the kind of wedding gown Emma would wear and the clothes for bridesmaids. Lana was not happy with Camala’s taking over the wedding preparations. Emma was trying the balancing act of her mother, who wanted to spend time with her, while Camala kept the bride busy with many activities leading up to the wedding. Emma had to follow the words of Camala as they were getting many sponsored deals from brands, which would be a make-or-break for the bride. 

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Who was pursuing Lana?

Lana, on the other hand, was having a tough time being around Will. Janice found a man on the property, Dr. Lucas, who was a proper medical practitioner several years younger than Lana. Lana initially was not keen, but Dr. Lucas was coming onto her and was a fan of her work as a researcher, which made her consider going on a date with him. She was impressed with the fact that he was offering medical services to villages around the resort in Phuket. Lucas was falling for her, but Lana was not sure what she wanted since she hadn’t been mentally in the right place ever since she ran into Will. 


Did Lana and Will create any mischief?

Lana and Will, along with their friends from college, decide to streak across the hotel beach while it is strictly prohibited. The whole gang decided to act all rebellious just for old time’s sake. They were caught by the hotel’s CCTV footage, which further antagonized Camala and Emma, who believed this stunt would affect their social media standing and the viewership that would come to watch the wedding live. Emma and her mother had their first falling out over this matter. 

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What happened between the two at Lover’s Cove?

Lana was upset about the fact that Emma was blinded by the lucrative sponsorship deals she was offered because of this wedding. In her pursuit to make her employers happy, she was losing sight of what she wanted from the wedding. Lana was not sure if her daughter was doing the wedding for the publicity or for the love she had for RJ. To compose Lana, Will took her for a drive to the mountains near the resort, where they got stuck because their vehicle malfunctioned. Lana wanted to stay away from Will, but he took her to a nook around the beach and began to converse about their past, which made Lana uncomfortable. 

Will revealed he had lost focus by the end of their time in college, which forced him to get away from his relationship with Lana. He apologized for having walked away without speaking to her. He also complained that Lana had left the town unceremoniously. Will revealed that he had come to look for her, but he’d learned of her wedding, which made him back off. He got married to another woman, but that marriage ended because he was in love with Lana. 

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Did Lana and Emma reconcile?

Lana and Will got stuck at the lover’s cove, and they came close to reconciling. Lana believed Will’s version of the story and was close to kissing him when they were rescued by the staff at the Discovery resort. Emma and Lana reconciled as the daughter realized what the mother wanted was for her own good. Emma finally paid heed to the advice given by her mother, which was to make the wedding about her and RJ and not the resort that was bullying the young bride. Emma eventually put her foot down and asked Camala to back off and make decisions as per the likes and dislikes of her mother and friends. 

Lana came to realize that RJ loved her no matter what, and along with the memories of their courtship, she wanted him to have a memorable wedding as well. She got a clear picture of what she wanted out of this deal, which gave her the courage to stand up to Camala, who was overstepping her boundaries. Lana was also happy for her daughter, as she could finally see glimpses of the real Emma, who was steadfast and adamant about what she wanted. 

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Did Lana agree to marry Will Jackson?

Lana was excited about what Will had revealed to her, and her heart was inclined to reconsider him as her potential lover. Her feelings for her son-in-law’s father seem inappropriate, as her daughter was going to marry into Will’s family, and having feelings for someone like him would make matters complicated. It was completely bizarre to even have feelings for a person who was going to become family in a matter of a few hours. 

Lana having feelings for Will feels a little selfish, as she is willing to keep aside what her daughter wants and look forward to a life with the father-in-law of Emma. Lana and Dr. Lucas parted ways before anything could materialize between the two. Lana had more chances of being happy with Lucas, who was clear about his feelings, than with Will, who selfishly put aside what his son wanted and confessed his love for Lana.

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Lana, however, caught Will speaking to a woman and explicitly mentioning that he wanted her to be around him. Lana was taken aback by his playboy behavior and decided not to let him manipulate her again. She was under the impression she and Will could have a future once the kids were married, but after witnessing the phone call between him and a woman, Lana knew he was a liar and was glad she dodged the bullet twice.

As Emma and RJ got married, Lana’s disgust for Will was visible, and she openly chose not to converse with him, which began to bother Will. Will wanted her to be honest about her aversion and find reasons for her backing out. He was worried that Lana would leave Phuket and he would never find her again, just like the last time. This time he wanted to offer and receive closure, so that would help both move on. Lana revealed her knowledge of his phone call with a woman, and he cleared the air by stating that the woman was his assistant who was planning to quit working with him. It was his way of keeping her around so that she could reconsider her job with him. 

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Lana was taken aback by this hilarious revelation and felt stupid to have gone down the overthinking lane. She felt she almost ended their relationship before it began, and she was glad this time Will cleared the air before things between them got worse. Will asked her to marry him right in front of Emma and RJ, who were now married. He probably did not want to lose Lana again and work towards making the relationship work. Will probably wanted to take the route his son took, which was to confront feelings and work on them instead of running away. No one had a problem with the fact that Will and Lana were now a family, and their having romantic feelings for each other was considered normal. It seems people have gone out of their way to justify their love. Lana was not sure whether to say yes to the proposal, not because she and Will were bound by their children. She was not sure if it would work. 

Emma encouraged her mother to say yes to him, which has to be one of the most bizarre sights in the film. Emma would probably be happy to have her mother as a mother-in-law as well, which would make her life easier. Lana eventually said yes because she sensed her daughter and son-in-law would be happy to have her become the happiest family ever. The movie ended with Lana and Wil falling into a water body on the property, which mirrors the scene in the film that marked their first meeting. 

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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