Antoine and Kenny Tyler are NCAA college basketball players, and Antoine is the star. Suddenly Antoine dies of heart attack and Kenny has to fill his shoes as leader of team. Some time ...
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Keenen Ivory Wayans
Keenen Ivory Wayans,
Charles S. Dutton,
Jada Pinkett Smith
Set in the world of stand-up comedy, "Behind the Smile" tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall of Danny Styles, a young comic from Cleveland, Ohio, who moves to Los Angeles in ... See full summary »
Antoine and Kenny Tyler are NCAA college basketball players, and Antoine is the star. Suddenly Antoine dies of heart attack and Kenny has to fill his shoes as leader of team. Some time later, Antoine returns as a ghost and helps Kenny in game and in life, but Kenny changes in the process and doesn't quite like it. Written by
The story and characters are too thin to care about and the ghostly basketball action gets very old very quickly
Kenny and Antoine are brothers raised on the basketball court Kenny is the workhorse who has bigtime assists but it is Antoine that knocks them down. Playing college ball they both are on the verge of being solid draft picks at very least but a big game against UCLA brings tragedy when Antoine is badly hurt and dies on the way to the hospital. The team is devastated, naturally it hits Antoine the most and, although they all try to carry on, the team slides to a massive losing streak and Antoine is inconsolable. Until that is, Kenny gets some help from an unexpected source.
This is a strange film because it can't settle on what it wants to be and the resulting mix of tones doesn't work well. The first 30 minutes of the film is overly sentimental and played as if we are supposed to be emotionally involved with the brothers but then it immediately turns into a goofy, silly comedy where the laughs are all meant to come from unbelievable moves on the basketball court. In the early stages it is interesting enough but you do always sense that it is just looking to get to the ghost part and the joking. Once it gets there it becomes all about the effects and obvious "dunking from halfway" stuff; problem is it isn't funny and it stops the film having any sense of excitement or involvement in the games or the characters The cast don't help either. Wayans spends most of the film mugging, hoping that that will be enough. Hardison doesn't quite do that but he is all about the ghost jokes rather than the people. Michele is cute but her romantic section is unconvincing and unnecessary while support from Paymer, Dunn and others don't have much to do. The problem with them is not their performances so much as the fact that material isn't very good. Without laughs, characters or a decent story, it only is periodically amusing and certainly not worth hunting down as a sports movie, comedy or story. Die-hard fans of Wayans brand of mugging will maybe enjoy it but most people will see it for what it is a very basic comedy.
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