Guess Who, based on the 1967 film Guess Who's Coming To Dinner,
stars Bernie Mac as Percy Jones who takes great pride in the knowledge
that he is always right. When his daughter Theresa (Zoe Saldana) brings her new
boyfriend Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher), home to meet Percy and his wife Marilyn
(Judith Scott), he is unaware that Simon has already proposed to Theresa
and plans to announce the engagement at Percy and Marilyn's 25th anniversary party.
As far as Percy's concerned, no man is good enough for his "baby girl"
and when he meets Simon, he's not at all what he envisioned...
Although I'm a big fan of old movies, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner sadly has slipped
past me. But knowing how different the times were for a premise like that (a white daughter brings a black
man home to meet her parents), makes the 2005 version thirty-eight years later seem a little less
severe. However, due to the endless struggle to tear down racial barriers and stereotypes, issues
like interracial marriages are still relevant in today's society. Guess Who approaches
the topic head-on in a way that manages to be fun, sensitive, and serious.
Although I've never been a fan of Ashton Kutcher or have ever really found him to be too great
of an actor, he seemed to fair just fine as Theresa's straight-up white guy boyfriend. And I can't imagine
a greater choice for a nemesis of sorts than Bernie Mac. Mac and Kutcher played off each other quite
well, making their scenes together pretty fun. And with such a sensitive issue as interracial relationships,
I thought the filmmakers did a pretty good job presenting the message of the story in a tangible
and easy-to-digest fashion. Love ends up being a central theme of the entire film.
And while the Guess Who trailer has played for months in the cinemas, being run nearly to death,
I was almost surprised to find plenty of funny moments in the film in addition to that which was spoiled in the trailer.
And most of the key moments in the ads that were shown over and over were tweaked slightly for the final product.
And Guess Who has plenty of heart which helps carry the film nicely. We're given enough time
to get to know the characters and their conflicts are handled rather realistically (and at the same time quite comically).
The film's major drawback, however, is its occasional treadings into the unnecessary territory of
sexual content. While the film would have passed just fine as a family film, several uses of innuendo
and a few near-explicit moments muddle the film's outcome. Specifically, when Theresa discusses with her sister her
premarital sex-life with Simon, Theresa mentions the size of his genitals. Some other uses of innuendo are
used including a brief masturbation reference (Simon insists to Theresa that he loves her and has
never cheated on her "except for that one time with myself and you caught me.")
Guess Who may not be the sharpest script you'll encounter this year for a comedy but
is mostly a well-written, well-directed outing. Sadly, the sexual content hinders the film overall
and keeps it from earning our recommendation.
It's really a shame it couldn't have been cleaned up more to reach a family audience.
- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 3/27/05)
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: Some minor innuendo
is made, including (but not limited to)... Percy is convinced
Dante is gay (even asking him if his mentioned wedding was with a woman) and his wife insists he's
metrosexual; Simon finds a small piece of lingerie in her suitcase and tries it on. Theresa begins
chasing her around and tries taking it off him (with him on the bed and her coming up from behind),
but her dad walks in and sees this (which looks like something sexual is happening, but there isn't);
Theresa's sister Keisha asks her about having sex with a "white guy" and Theresa mentions that his
genitals aren't small as rumored and are big and even sing like "big iPods;" Percy shares a bed with Simon
to prevent him from sleeping with Theresa (they end up invading each other's space which is played
for laughs); Simon calls Theresa to apologize and insists, "I never cheated on you except that one time with myself and you caught me;"
Footage from the anniversary party plays in the film and we see Percy and Marilyn sneak off the dance floor.
Percy comments that they left to go "shake some sheets" (have sex).
Vulgarity/Language: 7 "s" words,
7 "a" words, 1 "g*dd*mn," 1 "a-h*le," 6 "d*mn," 4 "h*ll," 2 "Oh my G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: Simon and some of Percy's
family get alcohol at a resturant; Percy and Simon drink vodka and apparently get tipsy/drunk in the process; Marilyn
and her family share drinks with intentions to get drunk (and are rowdy); Some people have drinks at the
Violence: Percy and Simon race go-carts
and try to knock each other off course; Percy and Simon play living room football
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content (with a few exceptions). However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.