Texas Ranger Roland Sharp is assigned to protect the only witnesses to the murder of a key figure in the prosecution of a drug kingpin -- a group of University of Texas cheerleaders. Sharp must now go undercover as an assistant cheerleading coach and move in with the young women. Written by
Tommy Lee Jones delivers the goods in MAN OF THE HOUSE as a cynical, world-weary Texas Ranger who is forced to play mother hen to a bunch of squealing, spoiled cheerleaders who have witnessed a murder. The girls are essentially interchangeable, but what works here is Jones' terrific comic timing as an older, divorced dad having to deal with five annoying college cuties. We know who the killer is early on, and it is to be expected he will try to hunt down the witnesses. What's fun here is watching the stalwart and very uptight Jones trying to keep the girls' lacy unmentionables out of his bathroom -- and trying to keep the girls clothed at all. There is a truly funny bit where he negotiates with them about how much to cover up. There's also a tired subplot about Jones' falling for one of their teachers, played by the delectable and age-appropriate Anne Archer, but it's harmless enough. Cedric the Entertainer has a couple of funny moments as a criminal-turned minister. A former cheerleader himself (!) he ends up in a dance-off with the girls. There's a mild amount of T&A, and some frank talk about one of the girls' need to have frequent sex with her boyfriend. Don't be surprised to learn that the horniest one happens to be the Mexican Spitfire of the group. Or that the captain of the team is the lone African American. Or that the dumbest one is a blonde. Stereotypes die hard. But still, all in all, this is a damned funny film with a satisfying showdown. And the Texas tough man with a tender heart rides tall in the saddle once again.
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