Rated: PG-13 Reviewed by: Chris Release date: March 25, 2005 Released by: Columbia TriStar
1967's Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner starring Sidney Poitier, Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy didn’t really need to be remade; it was great all on its own. Even so, this comedy is loosely based on that Stanley Kramer film.
This time around, it’s a black woman, Theresa (Zoe Saldana) who surprises her parents, Percy (Bernie Mac) and Marilyn (Judith Scott) by bringing home Simon (Ashton Kutcher), her white finance to their 25th anniversary celebration.
Theresa’s mom is sort of okay with it, but dad doesn’t like it one bit, and begins a credit check into Simon’s background. Also, in an attempt to make sure that his unwanted weekend guest doesn’t sneak into his daughter’s bedroom for a midnight rendevous, he slips into the basement sofa bed next to him.
Kutcher and Mac are both likeable comic actors and just as you believe that their characters are uneasy with one another in the beginning, we also believe that they eventually come to like and respect one another.
The first half of the film is filled with uncomfortable scenes with Simon trying to impress his future father-in-law and failing miserably. It's mostly a grudge match between the two men that culminates in a go-cart race to see who’s the best athlete.
The film doesn’t hit its stride however, until the wife and daughter fight with their mates and Simon and Percy are left alone to commiserate and bond.
The best moments come when this comedy gets a little serious. A father and daughter talk and a dinner discussion involving hurtful racial jokes, show that even after 38 years, interracial relationships can still teach us something.