Guess Who?

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Ebony And Ivory, live together in perfect treachery

Mar 30, 2005
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It don't matter if you're black or white.

Cons:Just look at what happened to the guy who said that!

The Bottom Line: Guess Who, just barely edging its way to the "sees". As opposed to the "see nots".


It's no wonder we can't get above racism in this world when every solution seems to contradict another one. First they say we're all the same. Then they say let's accept our differences. In everyone's mind, the proverbial hot potato lies in a different-colored pair of hands.

Whether or not Guess Who is racist is in the eye of the beholder, I guess. Truth be told, I can't even tell half the time these days. I could sit here and go through all the punches they pull and all the ones they don't. But you know you're taking a chance either way, so take it. Or don't.

All dramatics aside, I found Guess Who a lot easier going than anticipated. The plight of a white guy meeting his black girlfriend's parents is not a merciful one. Bernie Mac as the girl's father is at times more, at times less, menacing than Robert DeNiro was to Ben Stiller in Meet The Parents. The thing is, Deniro expected the worst from Stiller's character, whereas Bernie exudes an expectation of greatness from Ashton. Which is worse? It's your call.

Bernie Mac is the epitome of this movie's hilarity. It ain't just cos he's black, either, although that does help. Spontaneity and a very animated face lend themselves to his comedic power, but he also has a bit of a character arc toward the end.

Zoe Saldana gives a sensitive but assertive performance as Ashton's girlfriend, but regrettably falls to the back burner as war is waged between Ashton and Bernie. Still, she makes a pretty strong comeback at the end.

Kutcher mostly just sits back and laughs, except for a certain dinner table conversation in which he takes control of the room by telling "black jokes". Some of his lines are almost too idiotic to be funny, like the last "black joke" he tells. Anyone with half a brain would've known better. It's the same thing with his line about when he and his girlfriend count the relationship as having started: "She counts from the day we met, I count from the first..." Surely he would have stopped a lot sooner than that in the sentence; in fact he probably should've known better than to even start it.

Of course, it's impossible not to feel sympathy for the two young lovers when she tells her Daddy about how the world treats them. Daddy responds by saying just because she gets his approval doesn't mean the world will change. She says, "But it would change my world." It's just a really nice family moment, and maybe an awareness boost for the ignorant, or the ignorant of the ignorant.

If you enjoyed Meet The Parents, no doubt you'll get a kick out of this. There are dozens of A/B comparisons, the most obvious being volleyball/go-kart racing, Kevin/Jumal, milked a cat/worked with Jeff Gordon, Puff The Magic Dragon/Ebony And Ivory, and so on and so forth. But enough about that. What makes this one slightly better, I think, is when Kutcher and Bernie Mac join forces to recapture the hearts of their girls when they get mad. It's a fun and hilarious twist.

And yet I still find myself bewildered as to how you could watch a trailer in which Ashton Kutcher sings Bon Jovi, then see a movie in which he sings again. It's almost surreal.

Guess Who is, as mentioned countless times elsewhere, a kinda sorta remake of the old classic Guess Who's Coming To Dinner which is superior in every way imaginable. Or so 95% of people will tell you. I can't say, I never saw it. But they always say the original is better, do they not?


Recommend this product? Yes

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