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Percy Jones (Bernie Mac) is trying to protect his daughter Theresa (Zoe
Saldana) from ending up with the wrong guy, and though he does a
thorough background check on her new boyfriend Simon (Ashton Kutcher),
there's only one thing his research didn't tell him. He's white and he
wants to marry his daughter.
The "meeting the parents" premise has been done to death recently with Monster-in Law and Meet the Fockers being the most recent films. However, what the film lacks in originality, it makes it up with laughs. There were a lot of funny moments and the movie hardly ever got boring. However, most of the funny bits were used in the trailer and this makes the jokes a little less effective since they are already expected. Also, the repeat value of the movie is very low. It's worth watching once but that's pretty much it. I don't think that's a bad thing since most light comedies are like that.
I think the film works well because of the two leads. Both Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher give funny performances and they have nice chemistry together. Their scenes were the best and they never felt forced. Zoe Saldana also gives a good performance and she has come a long way from appearing in Crossroads. Most of the supporting actors are also funny including Judith Scott, who plays Bernie Mac's wife. Mike Epps also makes a cameo though it wasn't that good.
Kevin Rodney Sullivan directs and he only does an okay job. The first half of the film is pretty funny and the racial issues are handled lightly. During the second half, the film becomes all serious and it's kind of awkward. The director ditches the laughs for awhile and he approaches the issue in a mature manner. It kind of works but some of the serious scenes felt fake. It seemed like the actors were about to burst out laughing at any second and the film also got kind of dull. The ending was surprisingly strong though. The changes of tone in the film worked out okay but they weren't as effective as they could have been. In the end, Guess Who is worth a rental, nothing more though. Rating 7/10
To take a work of pure genius (Guess Who's Coming To Dinner / Stanley
Kramer 1967) and turn it into a Bernie mac, Ashton Kutcher roll
reversal. I have nothing against the actors in this film... BUT! The
original still stands strong as a cinematic masterpiece. Reviewing the
troubled historic times past. Any comedic treatment of this classic
work is nothing more than panhandling.
You can rent or buy the original for under $10. Sydney Portier was and is his generation. Don't be fooled, This series of remakes being spit out by the studios are simply because they already have the rights to the films and they will be the only ones making money. But the best question is what will they remake in 20 years from now.
Don't buy any of it!
Even though the movie is corny, it still sends a message that love will
prevail. Family means everything and without their support, love and
consideration, life will be harder. Just knowing that your family loves
you and what you love, makes facing the world that much easier.
I compare this to My Big Fat Greek Wedding in cultural attributes. There is a world out there of give and take and for the most part, I feel people have forgotten that. These two movies show that consideration and the almighty give and take are important to long-lasting relationships in any culture, religion and family.
I recommend watching this movie with an open mind, hoping to laugh, love, cry and remember how to have a healthy relationship and I hope this inspires you to have consideration for others in your world.
Of course this movie is mostly being blasted because it was released so
shortly after the success of "Meet the Parents" and "Meet the Fockers",
which uses the exact some concept. Only difference with this movie is
that it's about an interracial couple. But also when you look beyond
this and ignore the fact that this movie is basically the interracial
version of "Meet the Parents", it just isn't a great movie because for
a comedy its surely lacking. Basically Bernie Mac was the only reason
that I still found this movie to be an enjoyable one to watch.
Perhaps biggest problem is that the movie is too predictable. No not just with its story, I mean basically everyone already knows in advance how this movie is going to end but also comical wise the movie is too predictable. They surely didn't came up with a whole lot of original moments and because everything happens in such a predictable manner, the comedy also just doesn't always work out.
The movie could had been a better one, had it handled its subject of an interracial relationship better. That way the movie could perhaps had send out a message but it doesn't really does so now. The movie doesn't take away any stereotypes, instead it only sort of confirms them and it happily does so, in order to provide the movie with racial-typed humor. Somehow I have the feeling that it perhaps could had worked out better had the guy been black and the girl white and so her parents, who they are visiting, as was the case in the original movie this movie got based on; "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner", staring Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier and Katharine Hepburn, which was also a drama rather than a comedy. Even though I haven't seen that movie yet I still am sure of it that that movie its theme worked out better, perhaps also because it was a '60's movie when interracial relationships obviously were still a bigger issue. Seriously, when I take a black girl or Asian or whatever home one of these my parents surely won't make a big issue out of it at all. So isn't this a movie a bit too outdated already with its theme and only relevant had it been made about 40 years ago? That is if the film-makers intentions were to take away the stereotypes and reluctances and intolerability of people towards interracial relationship but I have the idea that the film-makers simply dropped this idea and intentions and went for a simple full-blood comedy instead.
I haven't seen Bernie Mac in an awful lot of movies, also since he started out pretty late white his acting career but so far I have always liked him in his comical roles. He plays it serious and sarcastic rather than over-the-top funny which makes him such a great and hilarious actor in my opinion. It's also mostly his movie in my opinion and Asthon Kutcher gets pushed more to the background by him, even though Ashton Kutcher surely ain't a bad actor either, no matter what other people always say about him.
A comedy you can surely do without but when you decide to watch it you'll still be most likely lightly entertained by it.
When it was released in 1967, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" was
acclaimed as a "breakthrough" film for its lighthearted, yet serious,
depiction of an interracial romance. In the years since, society has
moved so far in the direction of acceptance of so-called "mixed
marriages" that any remake is bound to feel, at least to some extent,
superfluous and anachronistic. And that is exactly the case with "Guess
Who," a 2005 update whose abbreviated title is only the first of the
many changes the filmmakers have rung on the Stanley Kramer original.
The screenwriters' first alteration involves switching the race roles, so that it is now a black family having to accept a white male as a prospective in-law rather than the other way around. Bernie Mac assumes the Spencer Tracy role as the father whose world is turned upside down when his beloved daughter brings a Caucasian boyfriend (Ashton Kutcher as a white Sidney Poitier) home to meet the family. On the distaff side, we have Judith Scott taking over for Katherine Hepburn as the understanding mother and Zoe Saldana replacing Katherine Houghton as the freethinking daughter.
Since interracial marriage is no longer the hot-button issue it once was, the filmmakers have been forced to inject a number of other non-race-related plot complications into the mix to develop and maintain the conflict and drama. Thus, we have Kutcher trying to hide the fact from both his fiancé and her family that he has recently quit his high-paying job at a prestigious firm and that he may, in fact, be the target of a securities-and-exchange commission probe. Indeed, with Kutcher spending most of his time trying to win over his critical and overbearing future father-in-law, "Guess Who" feels more like a remake of "Meet the Parents" than of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." The real problem with "Guess Who" is that it rarely has the courage of its convictions. Having decided to tackle a relatively dicey topic, the film too often drops the issue in favor of scenes that wouldn't pass muster even on a third-rate sitcom. For every scene that is incisive and daring - i.e. Kutcher telling a series of black jokes at the family dinner table - there is another that is pure Hollywood hokum (Mac and Kutcher sleeping in the same bed together, Mac and Kutcher having a go-cart race to determine who has the higher testosterone level and the greater machismo, etc.).
All of the performers are fine, especially Mac and Kutcher in the lead roles. However, they just haven't been given very sophisticated material to work with here. "Guess Who" might have been a better film had it aimed more for genuine, hard-edged satire and less for lowbrow slapstick and predictable romantic comedy sentimentality.
Still, it's been 38 years since "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" first shocked the nation with its in-your-face defiance of miscegenation laws, and the world has since moved on to other issues of social injustice and marital definition. Which is why, in the year 2005, "Brokeback Mountain" was a breakthrough film and "Guess Who" was not.
'Guess Who' is a good reflection of the changes in society since the Sydney Portier version was made many decades ago. Ashton Kutcher is an underrated comedic actor, who despite his good looks, can still be quite goofy and amusing. The movie raises good points about reverse racism, people's continuing prejudices and the pressures society puts on 'mixed-race' couples. I think the director and writers found a happy medium that allowed issues to be raised while at the same time keeping the movie light-hearted, funny and entertaining. If you are looking for something meaningful and entertaining at the same time, with a touch of romance and some eye candy, this is the movie for you!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
More nonsense from pap-Maestro director Kevin Sullivan. Another Cordon Bleu of racially motivated comedy designed to suck the dollars from a dumbed-down middle America. The cliché of the Oedipally challenged father refusing to relinquish his jilted grip on his daughter is far from a stranger to our screens. A successful director's job these days seems simply to be that of taking an already burned out concept, removing all intelligible plot moments, merging in a few racially 'hip' moments and then repeat until they have enough money to breed and make more of these sordid offerings. The 'comdedic' castration scene alone should be enough to silence this director's career forever. Nonetheless in addition the scene when the delusional father starts physically befouling the prospective stud's mattress in an attempt to quite literally dirty him in his fiancée's eyes is perhaps one of the lowest points of cinema in the last hundred years. A degrading attempt at comedy, at best a cringing wallet filler for the director. All I can say is that I hope his daughter turns into a transsexual mud-wrestler and elopes with an incontinent zebra.
Ashton Kutcher is going out with Zoe Saldana and while they do not have
a problem with their relationship a lot of other people do. That's
because Kutcher is white and Saldana, welllll, isn't. One of the main
people having a problem with their relationship is Bernie Mac (playing
Saldana's father), about to meet his daughter's partner for the first
time and completely unprepared for the obvious racial differences
between them. It's a remake of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner for the MTV
I like Ashton Kutcher and I also like Bernie Mac so this movie benefits from their central performances. It also has to be said that the rest of the cast do just as well and are all likable enough. So the cast isn't a problem.
There is also a little bit more going on here than you might expect, with the movie admirably tackling not only racism from one point of view but any prejudice between races, generations and classes. It's actually a bit braver than most during some moments (ie, Kutcher relating a number of "black" jokes at the dinner table) but then, sadly, dwindles back to rom-com clichés whenever scenes are lacking any tension.
The direction is blah, everything stays within very standard Hollywood limits and, for the most part, it's unexciting, safe movie-making at it's most average with character development at it's lamest. Which is a shame. Because I DO like Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac.
See this if you like: Just Married, Save The Last Dance, Soul Man.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I found "Guess Who" to be absolutely delighful. Even though there are a
lot of differences between "Guess Who" and "Guess Who's Coming To
Dinner", I still see a resemblance. I also think that Katherine Hepburn
and Spencer Tracy would have enjoyed it. Bernie Mac and Ashton Kutcher
did a wonderful job. They seem to work well with each other.
As far as the movie is concerned, I found nothing racial in it, except for the scene at the dinner table when Simon makes some racial jokes, but remember it was only a movie. Yes, the jokes weren't necessary but they were part of the script and movie, and I think no one should have gotten offended because it was just a movie.
As far Bernie Mac's character and Ashton Kutcher's characters getting off to a slow start, sometimes that happens between two characters. Eventually you see them start a friendship near the middle of the movie.
Even though there were some serious things happening in the movie, basically the movie was very funny. A perfect example is when Bernie Mac's character doesn't believe Ashton Kutcher's character about him knowing about the racing circuit and tests him by racing him in a go-cart, I found it extremely funny when they start to race each other and try to beat each other and land up tearing through the hedges and getting stopped by a police officer. Another funny example is when Ashton Kutcher's character teaches Bernie Mac's character the tango and later on Bernie Mac's character denies to his wife that he was taught the tango by Ashton Kutcher's character.
This movie had a great cast. Zoe Saldan is extremely great in this movie and so is Judith Boot, as is Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac.
I basically found nothing offensive about the movie except the scene at the dinner table. But like I said before the movie was absolutely delightful and very funny
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not having a clue about what this film was about, and for lack of
better films on cable, we decided to check "Guess Who". Then, it dawned
on us this was a remake of Stanley Kramer's 1967 film "Guess Who's
Coming to Dinner". Both films use the William Rose original premise
about a prospective son-in-law that is being brought by a daughter so
her parents can meet the young man. Everything has been reversed for
this occasion. While Sidney Poitier was the black fiancé, in this new
version, it's Ashton Kutcher, a white man, who is the odd man out.
Most of the comments in this forum are downright negative. We don't think the creators of the film wanted to capitalize on the original model, or even to imitate another recent movie of the same theme, "Meet the Parents", this was just a vehicle in which to showcase the talents of Mr. Kutcher and that funny man, Bernie Mac. The film was directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan.
That said, the film, although predictable has some good moments. Both Mr. Mac and Mr. Kutcher show an affinity for the roles they are playing and both are good together. Best moment in the film has to be the home dinner sequence where the Jones family is sharing the meal with Simon and he starts with his ethnic jokes about blacks. This would have been something no film would have dared to show because Hollywood would not dare offend Afro-Americans in this climate of affirmative action, and they wouldn't dare to get Rev. Jackson, or Rev. Al Sharpton to have them boycott the movie.
Aside from Bernie Mac and Anton Kutcher, the lovely Zoe Saldana is seen as Theresa, the daughter who is living with Simon, and comes home to be made aware of her parent's unease caused because of the ethnic background of the boyfriend. Judith Scott, a beautiful actress that should be seen more often, plays Marilyn, the understanding mother. Hal Williams and Kellee Stewart, are seen as the other members of the Jones family.
Just enjoy the film for what it is, as comparisons are always unfair. Who would not like to see Bernie Mac and Anton Kutcher rehearsing the tango late one night on the patio?
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