Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Queen Latifah recently said The Perfect Holiday was produced by her own production company, Flava Unit Entertainment. Does this mean part of the blame for another lackluster African-American film can go to a black production company and not just white-owned movie studios? If so, I need Latifah and others to know that black audiences (even for family films) can digest well-written scripts, intelligent comedy and full storylines. Don’t believe me? Check out Coming to America (1988), Barber Shop (2002), or even the legendary House Party (1990). Let’s stop dumbing down black audiences in the 21st Century!
How can stellar actors go from films like Life Support (Queen Latifah and also produced by Lance Un Rivera, who is the writer/director of The Perfect Holiday), Crash (Terrence Howard), and end up with this haphazard, implausible, exhaustion of cinema?
Yes, this is a "family film", but movies like Mrs. Doubtfire, Soul Food and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation are all entertaining family films with good comedic timing and fresh scripts. The Perfect Holiday is as stale as a piece of blueberry cornbread being used as a prop in a Tyler Perry production titled "Why Did I Get Married to Daddy's Little Girl If Madea Is Her Lesbian Lover?"
The plot: Nancy’s (Gabrielle Union) daughter asks Santa to give her momma a good man for Christmas, the man in Santa drag happens to be Morris Chestnut's character who is also a singer/songwriter. Ludicrous drama ensues as Chestnut’s character stumbles through his love for Nancy (a love that only blossoms in what I’m assuming is a week) and coincidentally getting signed to Nancy’s ex-husband's (Charlie Murphy) label—who needs to release a CD by Christmas. Note: The CD is still being recorded Christmas Eve. Not even Beyoncé could douche out a CD in twenty-four hours and have it to mass retail the next day!
There are some funny moments. Howard and Latifah as holiday rivals are enjoyable, but they only have cameos. Kat Williams and Charlie Murphy provided the most comic relief—I’m sure most of their banter was adlibbed. Still, expect endless fat jokes, sistah girl neck rolls and toilet humor.
Some of the people in the theater I attended were amused—probably more excited they won free tickets from the radio station. However, there were others, like the woman next to me, who was stone-faced, almost like she locked eyes with Medusa before the film started. I took a quick glance at her when I was in desperate need of a laugh. Perfect example, when I was officially overcooked that Latifah’s character suddenly had magical powers to save Christmas.
Well, it’s always good to see black folks acting, like UPN castaways Jill Marie Jones and Rachel True. Also, on a positive note, the acting was in no ways terrible and watching legendary katdaddy from the ‘90’s, Morris Chestnut, is a plus.
I would give it two stars, but hell, it’s the holidays:
** ½ Stars
The Perfect Holiday opens in theaters today.
Labels: MOVIE REVIEWS, QUEEN LATIFAH
Posted by Clay ::
12:00 AM ::