Friday, August 19, 2005

Movie Review: Guess Who

United States, 2005
U.S. Release Date: 3/30/05
Running Time: 1:45
Rated: PG-13 (Sex related humor)
Cast: Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott, Kellee Stewart

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Producers: Jason Goldberg, Steve Greener, Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Erwin Stoff, Betty Thomas, Jenno Topping
Screenplay: David Ronn, Jay Scherick, Peter Tolan
Studio: Columbia Pictures

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Guess Who. No, it’s not that Milton Bradley game where you ask if the other player’s person is wearing glasses or balding. Guess Who is the motion-picture that is simply a slight twist on the Meet the Parents storyline, with that twist being race. Considering its lead couple is interracial, Guess Who presents itself with several opportunities to tackle the black/white barrier, and when it tries, it succeeds. It is just that, on the whole, Guess Who does not contain enough redeeming qualities to make it a memorable comedy.

After Simon Green (Ashton Kucher) quit his job with a reputable company, he can’t bring himself to tell his fiancée Theresa (Zoë Saldana). Simon elects to keep his unemployment a secret from Theresa to prevent himself from spoiling their trip to her parents’ home.

Theresa’s parents, Marilyn (Judith Scott) and Percy Jones (Bernie Mac), are planning to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary by renewing their vows. However, considering Theresa did not share any specifics about her new beau with her parents, both Marilyn and Percy are shocked to discover that their baby’s boyfriend is a white man. From moment one, Percy is determined to separate his daughter from her non-athletic, dishonest, Caucasian boyfriend. In the process, Percy digs himself into a hole.

If you have been predisposed to Guess Who’s trailer, chances are you already know where the picture is going in terms of its laugh-grabbing antics. Basically, all of the film’s gags can be observed in the preview of the film. It is a shame that the trailer isn’t featured on the DVD’s special features; that would make for a quick and easy means to watch the film in all of its comedic splendor.

No, Guess Who isn’t the worst film, but it isn’t a masterpiece either. It is just another run-of-the-mill comedy involving in-laws and a lovey-dovey duet that can’t stop calling each other, “baby.” Truthfully, Guess Who does have all the elements to be a successful comedy, only sequences like the go-kart race and the lingerie try-on scene push the picture from enjoyable to inane.

Let us hope that the film’s producers aren’t ordering a sequel in which Theresa would go to Simon's house to experience more of the same. That scenario just wouldn’t work on screen, and it couldn’t possibly improve on this mildly engaging yet forgettable feature. (** out of ****)

© Copyright Brandon Valentine 2005