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PCR # 261  (Vol. 6, No. 12)  This edition is for the week of March 21--27, 2005.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Guess Who"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith
Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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Guess Who
 by Mike Smith
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The Ring Two....The Human Race, #1
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U.S. Air-O-Gance....Mummy-Fication....More Horror Masters
 by Matt Drinnenberg
TV Memories .... Coincidence? ... 'Roid Rage....Passing On....Jaws: The Story, Part 10
 by Mike Smith
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Columbia Pictures     
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, and Zoe Saldana
Directed by: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 48 mins

Oregon Boosenberry Sherbet. When I think about 1967's film "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," I immediately think of Oregon Boosenberry Sherbet. Actually, it was Boysenberry, but if the great Spencer Tracy wanted to call it "Boosenberry" who was I to argue? Groundbreaking in it's time, "Dinner" told the story of a white woman who brings her fiance' home to meet her parents, not telling them that he is black. That mom and dad were Kate Hepburn and Tracy, and the boyfriend Sidney Poitier, the film drew a lot of attention. Now, almost 40 years later, the subject of interracial dating is hardly anything new. With that in mind, the makers of "Guess Who" have devoted most of the story to the comedy aspect. And a wise decision it is.

In a twist on the original story, white stock broker Simon Green (Kutcher) travels with his black girlfriend, Theresa (Saldana) to New Jersey to meet her parents. While her mother has no problem with Simon, her father, Percy, (Mac) certainly does. Percy is very protective of his daughters. So much so that he uses his position as a bank loan officer to run a credit check on perspective suitors. As much as he tries to deny his disappointment, it's obvious that Percy is not pleased. And the more Simon tries to impress Percy, the worse the situation becomes.

It would be easy to say that "Guess Who" is a black and white version of "Meet The Parents," but that would do both films an injustice. While "Meet the Parents" built itself on an unlikely comic performance by Robert DeNiro, "Guess Who" stars two actors that have a comedy background and great chemistry between them. Kutcher, best known as Kelso on "That 70s Show," does a fine job as a man who knows he's in a no win situation. Whether listening uncomfortably to the car radio while "Brother Louie" and "Ebony and Ivory" play or trying to break the ice over dinner by telling "black" jokes, Kutcher shows a quiet vulnerableness missing in some of his other film work. Saldana and the rest of the supporting class do a fine job, especially when the neighborhood women sit around and discuss the good and bad of marriage. But the spotlight here shows on Mac. Already successful in supporting roles in films like "Ocean's Eleven" and "Bad Santa," Mac excelled last fall in his first starring role, "Mr. 3000." In "Guess Who," the Mac-mans comic timing is impeccable and it is his strong performance that holds the film together. If there was any doubt that Bernie Mac is a movie star, "Guess Who" erases it. With his dry humor and bulging eyes, Mac gets the unstated point of his actions across.

A laugh out loud comedy from beginning to end, I give "Guess Who"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Guess Who" is ©2005 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2005, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2005 by Nolan B. Canova.