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Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove Shine in New Photos from Netflix's “Mother of the Bride” (Exclusive)

"The real emotional heart of the movie is between the mother and the daughter," says director Mark Waters

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Miranda Cosgrove and Brooke Shields in "Mother of the Bride"

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Miranda Cosgrove and Brooke Shields in "Mother of the Bride"

Brooke Shields is treading new water in Mother of the Bride.

The actress stars in Netflix's upcoming romantic comedy as Lana, who gets the surprise of her life at the destination wedding of her daughter Emma (Miranda Cosgrove).

"Lana's daughter Emma returns from abroad and drops a bombshell: She's getting married. In Thailand. In a month!" teases a synopsis. "Things only get worse when Lana learns that the man who captured Emma's heart (played by Sean Teale) is the son of the man (played by Benjamin Bratt) who broke hers years ago."

Aside from starring in the movie, Shields, 58, is also a producer — and gives a lot of credit to director Mark Waters, Netflix and the company's Director of Original Film, Christina Rogers.

"[Christina has] been the champion of really pushing and standing behind these stories for women over 40 to be in a rom-com that's not just all ... yes, we've got the focus on the young, beautiful, fresh love, and we want that, but she's not overlooking my demographic. And to have that wish fulfillment of another chance at love and all that," Shields tells PEOPLE.

Read on for PEOPLE's exclusive first look at Mother of the Bride, streaming May 9 on Netflix, in time for Mother's Day.

A Bond Like No Other

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Cosgrove, 30, tells PEOPLE that her "really strong relationship" with her own mother "definitely played into" how she approached her character Emma's dynamic with Shields' character Lana, as she "had a lot to work with."

"But also Brooke's just really warm and loving, and she's kind of the type of person that, even if you've only talked to her for an hour, you feel like you've known her a long time," the iCarly actress says. "She's just really warm."

A Leading Man('s Man)

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Benjamin Bratt in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Benjamin Bratt in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

For director Waters (Mean Girls, He's All That), 59, part of the reason Bratt, 60, fit the role of leading man Will is his wide appeal.

"I find that romantic comedies, they often go for men who aren't liked by other men in the male leads," he says. "And since I am a man, I [want] somebody who is not only going to be beloved with women, but also men are going to see the movie and see, 'Oh, I also like that guy. And that's a guy that I could see being friends with.' "

Breaking Barriers

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Chad Michael Murray and Brooke Shields in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Chad Michael Murray and Brooke Shields in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Shields says aside from feeling the story championed by Netflix executives, Rogers and Waters, "I appreciated it from Robin Bernheim, who wrote the script."

"They weren't so scared of the concept that then they had to overstate it or make me the extreme menopausal woman," she tells PEOPLE. "Or the extremely-too-emotional woman, or whatever the clichés are."

Connecting Abroad

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Rachael Harris in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Rachael Harris in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Cosgrove says that the cast — which also includes Chad Michael Murray, Rachael Harris, Wilson Cruz, Michael McDonald, Tasneem Roc and Dalip Sondhi — got to "spend pretty much every day together for the six weeks we were in Thailand."

"And one of the special things about making the movie was — since we were so far away from home, all of us, and in a new place — I really feel like we all got to know each other pretty fast," she adds.

Theater Camp

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Michael McDonald and Wilson Cruz in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Michael McDonald and Wilson Cruz in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Filming with her castmates, for Shields, "felt like theater, from my experience of theater, because we were all thrown together in such a foreign environment ... we were together all the time," she recalls.

"We just all stayed together, which was really nice. And we all lived right near each other [on location]," explains the actress and mother of two.

Home Away from Home

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Chad Michael Murray in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Chad Michael Murray in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Waters — who previously worked with Murray, 42, on Freaky Friday (2003) — tells PEOPLE he was so happy to reunite with the One Tree Hill actor for Mother of the Bride, and that much of the cast and crew were basically like one big family.

"If you're shooting in Los Angeles or New York, you finish [working] and go home to your family and you don't see [your coworkers] on the weekends. And here, it's like, "Oh, what are we doing this weekend? What are we doing for dinner tonight? Are we gonna get some tequila shots?' " he says.

"That made for ease and comfortability, because they literally are people who are getting used to hanging out with each other a lot," Waters adds. "And that's a wonderful thing that comes about from being on destination location shoots."

Real-Life Wedding Inspo

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Sean Teale and Miranda Cosgrove in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Sean Teale and Miranda Cosgrove in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Cosgrove says there are some aspects of Emma and RJ's (Teale, 31) wedding that she'd be totally into snagging for her own potential future nuptials.

"I love the wedding dress that I got to wear," says the School of Rock actress, who plays a social-media influencer in Mother of the Bride. "It's not super extravagant and crazy, but it was just really comfortable and beautiful, and that was really fun getting to try different wedding dresses. I would definitely copy that dress."

She also appreciated the smaller size of the event. "I feel like if I were to get married, I'd want it just to be my family and really close friends, and I like it when people have smaller, intimate weddings like that," Cosgrove tells PEOPLE.

The Cast That Works Out Together...

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Chad Michael Murray, Wilson Cruz, Michael McDonald, Rachael Harris, Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Chad Michael Murray, Wilson Cruz, Michael McDonald, Rachael Harris, Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

"We had so much dance rehearsal on our days off, and we ended up just working out together," Shields says of how the cast stayed in shape. "Then we had so much pickleball practice, so all our free time was spent either going to dance rehearsal or learning pickleball or practicing pickleball."

"It was like we were able to do all of it together and laugh with each other throughout the whole process," she adds.

Feeling the Love

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Tasneem Roc, Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Tasneem Roc, Brooke Shields and Miranda Cosgrove in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

Waters tells PEOPLE that while "there's obviously a lot of comedic tension between Benjamin and Brooke's characters" and romantic storylines to follow, "the real emotional heart of the movie is between the mother and the daughter."

"Frankly, the scene where Emma goes to visit Lana in her bedroom the night before the wedding is the most emotional scene in the movie for me," he says.

Instant Chemistry

<p>Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix</p> Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt in Netflix's <em>Mother of the Bride</em> (2024)

Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Brooke Shields and Benjamin Bratt in Netflix's Mother of the Bride (2024)

"Brooke looked over to me and went, 'This is going to work,' " Waters recalls of casting Bratt. "We took him out to dinner and had some drinks and immediately we were clicking and having fun together. And she was thrilled knowing, 'Yeah, this movie's going to work, because I like this guy so much already.' "

Shields tells PEOPLE that Bratt is "pretty easy to be a love interest" — and that she was also thrilled that his wife of over 20 years, Talisa Soto, came to Thailand for part of the shoot.

"She's such a refined, beautiful woman," Shields says. "She epitomizes that, and I was so happy she wanted to come and spend the first portion of [filming] with us."

Mother of the Bride is streaming May 9 on Netflix.

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