Guess Who—So Predictable a
You Won’t Have to Guess for
by the Maven and the Blonde
Although this film sounds like a remake of
Stanley Kramer’s 1967 Guess Who's Coming to Dinner,
Guess Who is much more reminiscent of Meet the Parents.
In this case, the parents are Percy and Marilyn Jones.
Bernie Mac (Ocean's 12 and Mr. 3000) plays Percy Jones,
a proud, family man and bank loan officer. He is about
to celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary and renew his
vows to wife Marilyn, portrayed by Judith Scott (Vera
Drake and Dunston Checks In) with a big outdoor party at
his suburban Cranford, New Jersey home. Arriving for the
party is their daughter Theresa, played by Zoe Saldana
(The Terminal and Center Stage), along with her
not-as-yet introduced boyfriend, Simon. Percy envisions
Simon to have the smarts of Colin Powell, the
competitive edge of Tiger Woods and the looks of Denzel
Washington. Enter Ashton Kutcher (The Butterfly Effect
and Just Married), who is not the perfect beau Percy
imagined his daughter bringing home (are they ever?).
The stage is now set for this overprotective father to
find a reason to dislike Simon other than the mere fact
that he is not black. You would think that politics and
race had evolved since 1967, but while society has
become more tolerant as a whole, people and especially
fathers, are still suspicious and narrow-minded as they
ever were when it comes to their daughters. As Percy
tries to find and expose Simon's flaws, a friendship and
a bond develop which surprises both of them.
Blonde: Guess Who was like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
(only in reverse and not as good) meets Meet the Parents
meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Father of the Bride
meets “The Odd Couple” all meet the Huxtables (the
television couple). This film was slightly (and I do
mean SLIGHTLY) entertaining, but quite trite, silly and
overly predictable. Speaking of Camilla Parker BOWELS,
William is not too happy about his father’s upcoming
wedding set for April 8, and needless to say, neither is
the QUEEN and THE BLONDE!
Maven: How typically YOU put yourself right up there
with the queen! And FOR THE MILLIONTH TIME, it is
BOWLES, not BOWELS! What I wanted to say, though, was
the Bishop of Salisbury is suggesting to Charles that he
atone for his past adultery to Andrew Parker
Blonde: Not to mention all the others, and he doesn't
have much time to do it! And for the MILLIONTH TIME, she
will always be known to me as Bowels…
Maven: WHATEVER. Hey Blonde, it may only be
Blonde: Yeah, AS IF!
Maven: Bernie Mac gave a strong performance as the
gruff, skeptical, defensive and snobby Percy, but
underneath it all he showed a deep dish of sweetness. A
very similar performance was seen from Spencer Tracy in
the original version of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
That's where the comparison stops between the two
movies. This film was far more timid and lacked the
integral definition of the female roles. Where race was
the prime issue in the original, this update uses race
as humor only.
Blonde: Maven, I agree with none of the above. Although
I do like Bernie Mac, he is not and probably will NEVER
be in the league of Spencer Tracy. In addition, this was
a POOR remake if THAT is what was intended. The
characters were so much more colorful, passionate and
bold in the original. To differ from what you said as
well, I felt the issue WAS race, but the script was too
weak to pull off the dimensions and depth of the
original. Speaking of depth, has Oprah really left
Stedman and are Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell really
Maven: OH NO… Did you get that info from the Star OR the
Blonde: Well, I was bored at the hair salon! You didn't
answer the question though!
Maven: I haven't spoken with Oprah or Goldie recently
BUT… Jennifer Aniston DID file for divorce from
Blonde: Well, that I ALREADY KNEW FIRST HAND!
Maven: Sure you do!! And NOW for the pregnancy rumor of
the week, it's Britney Spears...
Blonde: Oops, she’s pregnant again…Nah, she's just
probably eating too much pasta and candy…
Maven: Let's get back to the movie!
Blonde: Oh, but this is much more fun to talk about than
Maven: Too bad! Moving right along, there should have
been a very funny scene when Percy and Simon shared the
sofa bed. Instead, it was mildly amusing if that. That
scene was done much better in Planes, Trains and
Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John
Blonde: You are so right! I miss John Candy… Steve
Martin's upcoming film, The Pink Panther looks like a
riot. Maven, I just love the term they spoke of in this
film, METRO SEXUAL… a straight man with taste. That's
what I am looking for? I know you won't agree with me
Maven, but Ashton Kutcher doesn't do it for me AT ALL. I
don't see what Demi sees in him, especially after Bruce
Willis. I don't even think his acting is 'ALL THAT.’ His
skills miss the mark, BUT THAT'S JUST ME! I totally
think he belongs on the small television screen instead
of major films.
Maven: Blonde, none of your husbands ever did it for me,
but I never questioned YOU about what you saw in
Blonde: Well, I wished you had… it would have saved me a
lot of time, trouble and anguish! AND NOW, BACK TO THE
FILM… I enjoyed watching Theresa's sister, Keisha,
played by Kellee Stewart. Here's a perfect example of
how a small part can steal a film. All the others did a
fine job as well.
Maven: Considering what they had to work with, I agree.
Guess Who works when it’s a pleasant, undemanding,
comedy about mismatched individuals finding points of
mutual understanding. It doesn't work when it’s playing
like a sitcom with overly cute humor. I rate this film a
C for common. Hey Blonde, where did you go running off
to at the end of the movie?
Blonde: Barf, barf, gag me with a soup spoon, a serving
spoon and/or a dessert spoon, what an icky, oh-so, oh-so
sweet ending! I needed to run to the bathroom, it made
me so nauseous! I really feel our readers can live
without seeing this film. It is far too simple without
any substance. I rate Guess Who a C-. Go buy a bucket of
popcorn and see another film!
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