Thursday, December 26, 2013

Guess Who (2005) Review:

The concept of interracial couples isn't the easiest of topics to touch upon. Some individuals are open to idea and think it's a beautiful thing, while others think it shouldn't exist. It really all depends on how one is raised as a child. No one is born prejudice against anyone else, nor should anyone ever be taught to be that way. Unfortunately, the past is a hard thing to let go of. Thankfully though, in movie history, there have been films that break down these walls and expose to viewers this controversial topic.

Zoe Saldana as Theresa
Simon (Ashton Kutcher), a Caucasian male and Theresa (Zoe Saldana), an African American female are an interracial couple. After being together for so long, they felt it was time for Simon to meet Theresa's family. To Simon's dismay, Theresa tells him that she did not tell her family, her father Percy Jones (Bernie Mac) especially, that he was Caucasian. And it's at this point where things get interesting and a tad dangerous. The film is comedic which is good, but this is also its flaw. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), the original film that this film is based on, shows a few similarities but there's hunk of important material that was left out. The seriousness of the issue.

Nowadays interracial couples are much more accepted into society than it has ever been before, but the way this topic is treated is slight bit overblown. Out of the three writers, the best one to handle the screenplay should have been Peter Tolan. David Ronn and Jay Scherick have the reputation of writing comedy driven screenplays that weigh heavily on one gag. It's not to say the comedy doesn't work but with a lack of seriousness in its tone, this topic could become a stereotype of itself. When it fact, the whole point of the film is to break down those stereotypes - not to reinforce it. That's the disappointing thing about this movie.

Ashton Kutcher (Simon) & Bernie Mac (Percy Jones)
Everything else about the movie works well though. Ashton Kutcher and Zoe Saldana make a convincing interracial couple and Bernie Mac is good choice for an overprotective father. Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac show the required chemistry to be likable onscreen too. In fact Bernie Mac is the actor who carried around a lot of the weight in the film. The supporting cast also helps drive comedy and contains some of their own unique scenes. I enjoyed the small tracks that composer John Murphy installed into most the scenes. They were light, goofy, and it added to the overall tone. I enjoyed it. It has a good cast and fun laughs. I'm just curious if viewers prefer the realistic or comedic tone.

Although the seriousness in tone is dropped, the comedy works well thanks to Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac's chemistry. However, the film does flip flop between realistic and stereotypical.

Points Earned --> 7:10

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