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Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Dated '90s comedy has stereotypes, language.

Movie PG-13 1997 91 minutes
B.A.P.S. Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Halle Berry gives this her all, but the script doesn't do the talented actor justice. B.A.P.S. offers two crude, loud, ill-mannered, ignorant women who haven't a clue about how the world works and no curiosity to find out. Yes, the women prove to have hearts of gold, but their decency doesn't really make 90 minutes of ridicule any less cringe-inducing. Fran Drescher played clueless and crass in The Beautician and the Beast and Reese Witherspoon did clueless and spoiled in Legally Blonde, so the cliché produces varying degrees of success. But this misses the mark most of the time. When the women mistake a bidet for a second toilet, it takes Nisi a second to mistakenly turn the water on herself, but it takes 34 seconds of incompetence to turn the geyser off. It's okay to be ignorant about bidets, but it isn't okay to be too stupid to turn off a faucet.

Ian Richardson plays the meticulous and well-mannered butler, stereotypically deployed as the foil to the women's garish crudeness. His gradual appreciation of their decency signals to the audience that even snooty White people are capable of recognizing the good character of the heroines. And for a guy expected to die in two weeks, Landau plays Don as spry and energetic, which makes no sense. Nisi seems to hate her "boyfriend" Ali (Pierre Edwards), deriding him mercilessly for being an unambitious dope who wants to start a limo company but hasn't bothered to get a drivers' license. She has no qualms about leaving him and the movie offers no connection between them of any kind. Suddenly she baselessly describes him as the love of her life and, given our view of him, when they reconnect at the story's end, it's hard to see that as a happy ending.

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