AUTHOR’S NOTE: The exchange below is a complete fabrication
and not meant to be taken the least bit seriously, but I have seen
The Player and I’ve watched pitch sessions at the
Austin Film Festival. Plus, I read a lot of play-scripts
(Posh studio office, a studio executive is grousing at his desk,
unhappy with current figures he’s checking out on Box Office
Mojo.com. Meanwhile, an intern is working in the corner with a rusty
old paper cutter and a roll of xXx 2: State Of The Union
Studio Executive: Dammit, we’re getting killed out there!
We need something hot, something fresh, something new, something
sexy! What we need is something that will be number #1 at the domestic
box office for three days. Then we’ll make a killing on downloads.
(The intern sees an opening and rushes up, finally getting a chance
to prove his worth and knowledge.)
Intrepid Intern: But sir… people don’t pay money when
they download movies on the Internet.
S.E.: …WTF? Why aren’t you cutting stickers?
I.I.: Well, I know general office work goes along with the job,
but I’m also here to get experience and to learn about the
industry. However, I talk with a lot of people and the reason people
download movies off the Internet is usually because they don’t
feel like paying to see them in theatres or on DVD.
S.E.: Listen son, why don’t you go back to cutting your stickers
and let the big boys talk business, ’kay?
I.I.: But sir, I really think…
S.E.: Listen up sunshine, I already told you once nicely, so sit
your happy ass down and cut your fucking stickers or I am going
to personally kick you until you cry.
I.I.: Wow, someone listens to Phil Hendrie.
(The S.E. clicks a button on the intercom on his desk.)
S.E.: Sweetie, send him in.
(Talentless Hack enters. He sees the intern stacking up stickers
and purposely kicks wind in the intern’s general direction,
knocking the stack of stickers into a messy heap. The intern watches
helplessly and weeps quietly on the inside.)
Talentless Hack: ’Sup Tim, how goes it?
S.E.: Still breathing, Andrew, still breathing. So what you got
T.H.: Well I just finished up an all-weekend marathon of movies
featuring Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Ben Stiller,
and Sidney Poitier.
S.E.: And what do those guys have in common?
T.H.: Because you know, we already have Mac and Ash signed up for
a movie together right? We just haven’t figured out what that
movie is going to be. So I figured, well… Bernie Mac and Kutcher,
their ages are too different to do a buddy action movie or a science
S.E.: What about that comic book shit we just licensed from that
I.I.: Cloak And Dagger
S.E.: Son, you are this close to getting a halisen up your hoo-hoo
if you say one more syllable.
T.H.: I checked that out actually, and it would require Kutcher
to get a sex change, and as we both know, he’s not much of
a method actor.
S.E.: Fuck him.
T.H.: Let me finish. So then I started watching Meet The Parents
and Meet The Fockers.
S.E.: That’s out on DVD already?
T.H.: Nah, I just downloaded it. So let me finish already biznatch!
T.H.: And then I started watching Guess Who’s Coming
To Dinner. And I realized the movies are nearly exactly the
same. So I thought, let’s combine the great multi-million
dollar comedy of Meet The Parents and chop suey it up with
the brilliant social and racial discourse of Guess Who’s
Coming To Dinner!
S.E.: Shit… fucking… fly… that is fucking tits!
But wait… where do Mac and Kutcher come in?
T.H.: Simple, we just switch things up a little bit. We make the
Drayton family from “Dinner” a BLACK family with Mac
playing the father and… get this *drum roll*… we make
the Prentice character…
(The S.E. looks pointedly at the intern.)
S.E.: He said drum roll, dumbshit.
(The Intrepid Intern starts tapping on the papercutter board).
T.H.: ASHTON KUTCHER
S.E.: …Andrew you are taking me out to Nordstrom’s later
today and getting me a $500 suit.
(The T.H. smiles knowingly.)
T.H.: Why, whatever do you mean?
S.E.: Because I think I just had the biggest orgasm of my life and
I couldn’t hold it in. Intern, check my shorts.
(The intern sighs in disgust and finishes the inspection as quickly
I.I.: You’re good boss. But the thing is... about that movie,
it’s so derivative and unoriginal, I thought you wanted something
new and fresh?
S.E.: Fuck you talking about? The movie combines Guess Who’s
[Fucking] Coming To Dinner
with Meet The [Fucking] Parents
while presenting a scenario of reverse racism between the Mac and
Ash respectively. Never been done before. That is new and fresh. Oh,
you’re finished cutting the stickers I see? Okay, well I need
you to go clean up the conference room. We had a Dianetics party there
last night, and Tommy couldn’t quite hold his OJ if you know
what I mean. And when you are done with that I need you to take the
company Gremlin to pick up my chihuahuas from their play date with
(The intern tries to hide his shudder as he walks out.)
S.E.: Sorry about the schmuck. Interns!
T.H.: S’cool sexy.
S.E.: So when can we have this ready by?
T.H.: Let’s see... Factoring in the screenwriting, finding
a director and a crew, the rest of the supporting cast, visual FX,
and focus groups... I’d say... a week or two, TOPS.
S.E.: Fuck, all right, but only because I owe you for getting me
here when I was a janitor for “Caroline in the City.”
T.H.: “Who loves ya baby?”
S.E.: I know, I know. Now get the fuck out of my office. I’ve
got a casting couch in 5.
Put simply, Guess Who
is a crappy new comedy that is not
only a horrible remake of Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner,
but also manages to knock-off Meet The Parents
the humorous parts. Chop it up, mix it all together and you get Guess
Kutcher stars as Simon Green, a Wall Street trader who has recently
quit his job prior to leaving for New Jersey with his newly minted
fiancée, Theresa (the lovely, beautiful, and gorgeous Saldana,
a potential third Mrs. Vile One). Simon worries that her family,
especially his father, won’t accept him—not only because
he is white, but unemployed. So he decides to hide the unemployment
part from everybody. Of course there’s immediate friction
between Simon and Theresa’s father, Percy Jones (Mac). And
Simon, who can never quite keep his annoying mouth shut, manages
to do the wrong thing at every turn. At first, Percy is also an
asshole. But in the end, they come to accept each other and make
huggies and kissies. That’s not a spoiler folks. It’s
a foregone conclusion.
The concept and scenario here is just too ridiculous. I mean good
God, he’s a freaking bean counter and Mac is a banker. Those
are hardly two extremes like, for example, a male nurse and an ex-CIA
agent. I didn’t find anything in the narrative convincing enough
to sell the comedic material. All the problems in this movie come
from people being dishonest over such trivial shit that it was just
too ridiculous to swallow. And I understand that movies need problems
and conflict that aren’t exactly normal everyday stuff in order
to work, but this film is freaking pedestrian and amateurish. Looking
at the filmography, I’m not surprised, since screenwriters
are responsible for equally
horrible movies such as I-Spy, National Security, and Serving Sara.
(Editor’s note: Sweet Jesus! See Ted
Rholes’ scathing review of the latter film
None of the performances are particularly memorable or inspired.
Kutcher is his usual goofy self, and doesn’t even appear to
be trying. Mac is a talented comedian and performer, but he’s
working with bullshit material rather than his own. Saldana does
a fair job as the movie’s quasi-obligatory straight character
and love interest, and she was the only character I really liked.
But scenes in which she discusses the sexual anatomy of white guys...
dunno... it was just as excruciating as the rest. And that’s
what this flick is: excruciating.
And Guess Who
will probably #1 this weekend. S’okay
though, I still got my DVD of The Incredibles.
I love you
don’t ever change.
—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris