Guess Who



Update on Poitier classic isn't as memorable.
  • Review Date: August 1, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Tolerance is supposed to be the theme, but if you are looking for a moral message you are better off renting the original with Sindey Poitier's powerful performance.


Comic scuffle.


Many comic sexual references.


Some strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, including drinking in response to stress, characters get tipsy.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has some sexual humor, including jokes about masturbation, cross-dressing, and gays. A character asks "What's the sex like?" and there is some discussion of what white men's sex organs look like. There is humor about racism, including a list of racist terms for white people. A great deal is made of the fact that Simon and Percy share a bed (as a way of making sure that Simon and Theresa don't sleep together) and end up cuddling.

What's the story?

This very loose remake of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner reverses the mixed-race couple situation, with the white boyfriend (Ashton Kutcher) who describes himself as "pigment-challenged" and who must get the approval of the black girl's father (Bernie Mac). It's just an excuse for a series of silly situations and conflicts as Simon lies to Percy about his participation in sports and Percy lies to a co-worker, describing Simon as a basketball-playing graduate of Howard University who knows Bill Cosby and Jesse Jackson. There are also some other half-hearted attempts at plot developments that are around long enough to be annoying but not long enough to get resolved. Percy takes Simon to race go-carts and Simon tries to keep everyone from finding out that he quit his job. But you know they'll find an Ebony-and-Ivory bond by the big party at the end.

Is it any good?


Nearly 40 years ago, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner was a serious, even a little heavy-handed, but endearingly earnest drama. It was considered a provocative, even daring, statement about what we used to call "civil rights" issues. But times have changed, and GUESS WHO is generic slapstick rather than social commentary, closer to a remake of Meet the Parents than it is to its purported original source.

No one does choleric better than Bernie Mac and it is always fun to see him get steamed. Kutcher manages to stay out of Mac's way (and his own) and Zoe Saldana shows warmth and sweetness as Theresa. Kellee Stewart as Theresa's sister gets to show more sass and sparkle, especially when she explains how Theresa's relationship with Simon improved her own life. The movie would have been much more fun if she had been the fiancée, and perhaps if we got a look at Simon's family as well. Instead, we got unfunny scenes at a go-cart track (they go off the track!) and at an all-women party (they get tipsy and trash men!). And the prospect of a Meet Simon's Family sequel.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether any of them can remember a time when it was actually illegal in some states for people of different races to get married.

  • They could read the Supreme Court decision that invalidated those laws

  • as unconstitutional. It's shocking today to realize that the laws were

  • in place until that decision was issued in 1967, the same year as the

  • original Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. The very-apt name of the landmark case is Loving v. Virginia.


  • Families

  • who see this movie could talk about the jokes Simon told. Which made

  • fun of white people and which made fun of black people? They could also

  • talk about their own family reactions to marriages that cross racial,

  • religious, or other kinds of lines.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 25, 2005
DVD release date:August 2, 2005
Cast:Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana
Director:Kevin Sullivan
Studio:Sony Pictures
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sex-related humor

This review of Guess Who was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 15 years old Written bystifergusonjr April 9, 2008

Really funny

there is only two parts that might not be approipreite for kids under 7
Teen, 13 years old Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008

Ausome movie for 11 year olds and up! For boys and girls!

It is a great movie for 11 year olds. It is very funny. The jokes in it relate to old songs and old movies for instance it says the lyrics to a old B2K song. Aston Kutcher and Bernie Mac make a great team! GREAT MOVIE!
Educator Written bycsm666 November 13, 2015

Crazy for Rotten Tomatores

RIP Bernie Mac enrolling from under his grave!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


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