Guess Who

"OK"

Guess Who Review


After setting the stage with half a dozen insultingly shopworn plot contrivancesin its first five minutes, "Guess Who" -- a seemingly ill-advisedcross between "Meet the Parents" and "Guess Who's Comingto Dinner" -- eventually finds its comedy footing by playfully dancingalong the edge of political incorrectness.

The meagerly amusing Ashton Kutcher plays a generic, kowtowing,romantic-comedy male dope named Simon, the kind of guy who quits his high-payingjob on principle (cliche) but lies about it to his fiance (contrivance)so she can find out about it on her own and thus break up with him (cliche),forcing him to win her back in the third act (oh, brother). This despitethe fact that it's never clear what she sees in him in the first place.

Simon also lies about his job to the girl's vociferousand intimidating father (cliche), whom he's meeting for the first timethat very weekend (contrivance). The young couple plans to announce theirengagement during a 25th anniversary party for her parents (there's a badidea), which will include a renewal of wedding vows (a plot crutch onlyused by screenwriters desperate to find a climactic setting for a big finale).

Having built its story arc around the kinds of dumb liesand misunderstandings that could be easily resolved if the characters wouldjust level with each other for 30 seconds, "Guess Who" wouldcollapse under the weight of its sheer idiocy if it weren't for the factthat Simon is white, his fianc=E9e Theresa (Zoe Saldana) is black, and herfather (Bernie Mac) is none too pleased about having that fact sprung onhim.

About halfway through the movie, after taking a lot ofmildly amusing abuse from Daddy (and Bernie Mac can dish it out with wickeddelight) -- who is really more over-protective than prejudiced -- Simonstarts fighting back and a rivalry takes hold that brings this comedy backto life. Kutcher and Mac become uproarious junkyard dogs of undercuttinganimosity, yet curiously build a begrudging respect along the way, as directorKevin Rodney Sullivan ("Barbershop 2," "How Stella Got HerGroove Back") pulls off a successful balancing act on the electrifiedhigh wire of racial humor. The movie even pokes fun at the highly subjectivenature of what people consider offensive with a dinner scene during whichKutcher tells increasingly risky racial jokes, with Mac egging him on untilone goes too far for his tastes.

"Guess Who" sinks back into banality once thetwo men bond when both end up in the dog house with their women -- whoafter being depicted as the mature mates and sensible in their relationshipsfall into childish behavior themselves, stomping off during a disagreementand refusing to come home until the guys grovel for forgiveness.

So by the time the credits roll, the movie's sharp comedyand sheer idiocy just about cancel each other out. Whether the resultingbalance is worth the price of a movie ticket is just a matter of tasteand tolerance.



Guess Who

Facts and Figures

Run time: 105 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th March 2005

Box Office USA: $68.0M

Box Office Worldwide: $68.9M

Budget: $35M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures, Regency Enterprises, 3 Arts Entertainment, Tall Trees Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 63 Rotten: 85

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Starring: as Percy Jones, as Simon Green, as Theresa Jones, as Marilyn Jones, Hal Williams as Howard Jones, as Keisha Jones

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.