Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Review: Bringing Down the House

My regular post for today is just not ready for public display yet. In the meantime, I can at least warn you to avoid Steve Martin's latest movie Bringing Down the House. The movie also stars Queen Latifah.

Until now I would have considered Steve Martin to be a safe bet for a PG-13 movie. I was wrong. Charlene, played by Queen Latifah, is an abusive and vengeful escaped convict. Though later proven innocent - (the movie isn't deep enough for me to be giving anything away here) - she bullies her way into the life of Steve Martin. She helps Steve's 10 year old son learn to read by listening to him recite from a porn magazine. She watches as Steve's daughter sneaks out of the house and says nothing to the father, until she finally gets into trouble. The style of the movie says that I should have ended up liking her. I never did.

Other cautionary moments for those who might still want to see this. There is a dry humping scene that is bizarre and out of character. The brawl between two women is brutal.

The racial tones in Bringing Down the House have not been mainstream for decades, and yet they are given contemporary garb and used to excuse more abuse. Queen Latifah finds herself having to pretend she is a classic black nanny and many other insults to black dignity. As a country we are thankfully not there anymore, but the movie tries to be funny by saying we are.

See at your own risk.

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