DOASKDOTELL MOVIE REVIEWs of Guess Who, A Lot Like Love, What Happens in Vegas

 

Title:  Guess Who

Release Date:  2005

Nationality and Language: USA English

Running time: 106 min

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Distributor and Production Company: Columbia, Regency

Director; Writer: Kevin Rodney Sullivan; David Ronn, Jay Scherick

Producer: Jason Goldberg

Cast:  Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana

Technical: Flat 1.8 : 1

Relevance to DOASKDOTELL site: miscegenation

 

This film is a romantic-comedy genre re-adaption of Guess Who Came to Dinner (Stanley Kramer, also from Columbia) with Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sidney Poitier. Here the roles are reversed, and a white man Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher) courts an African-American girl Theresa Jones (Zoe Saldana). When Simon’s Wall Street boss pressures him not to date a black girl, he quits and then is blackballed. In the meantime, the potential bride’s father (played by Bernie Mac) challenges metrosexual Simon’s masculinity (“a man who doesn’t play sports isn’t a real man!”)  That reminds me of a comment by my own father, “why would a man teach English?” The challenges are at different levels, as in driving kiddie race cars, but mainly in sleeping with the father to keep the girl out of the family bed. It gets funny in that Percy (the dad) is a bit of a cuddler in bed, although Simon always keeps his clothes on.

 

The political history, of course, dates back to a 1967 ruling from the Supreme Court ruling Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional. That takes out the circular reasoning that one was used to justify these laws (the good of the “kids”). Go to http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?court=US&vol=388&invol=1

 

David Krumholtz (Numbers) makes a cameo as a securities trader, demanding margin from Simon.

 

Elizabeth Seward, of Cartoonemporium, offers this dress-up doll for Ashton Kutcher. It's cute.

 

A Lot Like Love (2005, Touchstone, dir. Nigel Cole, 107 min, PG-13) is a less ambitious romantic comedy that has Oliver Martin (Ashton Kutcher) meeting Emily Friehl (Amanda Peet) on a plane, and building a reluctant romance over seven years. Despite a stint in selling diapers, Oliver tends to fail in everything professional but can charm Emily. There is one scene where he is photographed in the dark almost nude. 

 

What Happens in Vegas (2008, 20th Century Fox, dir. Tom Vaughan, 99 min, PG-13). This time Ashton is carpenter Jack Fuller, working for his dad and fired for laziness. He goes to Vegas and meets Joy (Cameron Diaz). In a fit of drunkeness, the have a Nevada wedding. When Jack hits the jackpot on a slot machine, he wants out of the deal, and an angry judge makes them live together for six months as married, or they lose the money.  Sounds like a screenplay contrivance for the three-part structure.  The Judge (Dennis Miller) makes an appropriate comment, that straights have made a mockery of marriage on their own regardless of what gays do (there was clapping in the audience). You get to see plenty of Ashton's model bod, and he even uses the kitchen sink as a toilet.

 

I have a script that starts out in Vegas with a couple, but is "dramatic" and would go in a different direction, even if it has the same look physically. Even "21" seemed a lot more serious, that was a comedy, kind of.  

 

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