Mixed Family
Guess Who
Review Review by Ross Anthony

I'm a fan of Bernie Mac, but something about the adverts to this film gave me pause.

The first third of the film erased my fears and filled my belly with laughter. Sharp, funny, extremely well-edited and strongly-directed. But, as the contrivances accumulate one after the other, the plot begins to come apart at the seams. Until it becomes painfully obvious, that the film doesn't even respect its own plot -- just uses it as a skeleton for the comedy.

That said, the comedy is very good. The actual dialogue, the back chatter, even seemingly insignificant interactions are smart and funny. The only problem is the circumstances out of which they grow. Those circumstances are ridiculous, unbelievable. I didn't buy it. I didn't buy these two guys would race go-carts, I didn't believe Ashton would tell a string of black jokes at the Bernie Mac family dinner.

Nor does the eventual character developments hold any weight, so the film offers little heart in its climax and resolution. If the script had been written with any depth, all of that had been sacrificed for the joke. But again, the joke really is funny. I laughed a lot, and sometimes hard. But I also winced at what I was expected to believe.

Because of its strong positives and tedious negatives, I'm going to average this film out to a B rating.

From the production notes: Mac, a long time fan of classic films, seized on the idea of a comedic variation on one of his favorite movies: "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

  • Guess Who. Copyright © 2005.
  • Starring Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, Judith Scott.
  • Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan.
  • Screenplay by David Ronn, Jay Scherick, Peter Tolan.
  • Produced by Jeno Topping, Erwin Stoff, Jason Goldberg at Columbia/Regency/3 Arts/Tall Trees/Katalyst.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:10:17 PDT