The fledgling romance between Nick, a playboy bachelor, and Suzanne, a divorced mother of two, is threatened by a particularly harrowing New Years Eve. When Suzanne's work keeps her in Vancouver for the holiday, Nick offers to bring her kids to the city from Portland, Oregon. The kids, who have never liked any of the men their mom dates, are determined to turn the trip into a nightmare for Nick.
16 May Are We There Yet? (2005)
Away from Home Alone
The more I study film ideas, the more I’m amazed at how some ideas continue to live.
Take the notion of humorous cruelty. Were the Stooges the first to build a franchise around this. In modern times, it is the “Home Alone” franchise where we are given an excuse for accepting the cruelties because the hurter is a clever but innocent child and the hurtees are stereotypical bad guys.
Here the idea tries a new incarnation. Lest there be any mistake about the source, the movie actually starts in the “old” Home Alone mode with our (anonymous) victim encountering tripwires that trigger child-made traps of household goods and toys.
Then it shifts into the new mode. In this edition, some of the tricks are intended and some are not. The victim is a new kind of shiftless: a black man actually trying to be “ghetto.” The story is supposed to smoothly morph in a sort of “What About Bob” way from pain to rewarding relationship. The turning point is also stereotypical: the treasured black dad has abandoned his family and the beleaguered suitor is revealed to be someone to whom that also happened.
I think humor about race, especially racial stereotypes, is fair game. How better to puncture it? But its got to be funny doesn’t it?
This picture turns out to be what it starts to be: a way of torturing a black dude who manages a slick appearance of the ghetto (we’re talking about the guy who calls himself Ice Cube here, not his character) and tries to put himself where he doesn’t belong. Poignant maybe, but neither funny nor endearing.
Posted in 2005
Ted’s Evaluation — 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.