By: The Dweeb
As if the forgettable Bulworth wasn’t enough, Hollywood takes another crack at the black vs white, fish out of water concept. The results this time are somewhat better, but trying to make fun of racial stereotypes can walk the fine line between funny and offensive. The film has its moments, but in reality is very predictable. In movies like these, the rule of thumb is always a happy ending, and the guy gets the girl. Well, sort of anyways.
This is a typical Steve Martin vehicle. He has somehow made the shift from straight comedy to playing roles as a white stick-up-his-butt father figure in the past decade. Check out the Father of the Bride movies, he’s almost the same guy, just has a different name here. He spends most of his time juggling problems in his life with problems at work as a Tax Attorney. Somehow things just don’t always work out for him, and he gets the short end of the stick. This is probably one of his better performances in years, especially at the end. Martin shines when he is forced into the inner city night club and has to act ‘street’ with everyone. That was just laugh out loud, especially when he dances with the two women. Aside from that he comes across pretty bland for the rest of the film.
Opposite Steve Martin is Queen Latifah as Charlene the escaped convict. She’s supposed to be ‘from da hood’, but its not convincing. I feel like I’m getting a tour on how to act ‘black’. Yeah, she goes through the motions, doing the whole sista act, but its not convincing. She comes across as more motherly towards the Sanderson family. She supposed to be a street punk, but she’s too nice! Her acting skills still need a lot of work. Her best moment is the fight with Ashley (Missi Pyle). “I’m gonna kick the bulimia outta you!”
Now the best actor in here has to be Eugene Levy as Howie Rottman. Man, I busted a gut watching him as the straight man who has a heavy dose of jungle fever. The stuff that comes out of his mouth is priceless. “I’d like to dip you in cheese and spread you all over a cracker.” Don’t know how he can keep a straight face, maybe its the eyebrows.
Also included are a lot extras, which is kind of surprising for a movie at this level. It’s not some epic film, its a run of the mill flick. There are some deleted scenes which are funny, as well as the outtakes. They also decided to spoof Eugene Levy and make a fake Godfather of Hip Hop type of documentary which is good for a chuckle or two. I didn’t get a chance to listen to the commentary track, but I’m sure it was pretty insightful. All in all, a fairly decent release for this film, but I wouldn’t want to go out and buy it.