• Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 84 minutes

What parents need to know


Comic violence, including gun use.


Sexual situations, extremely explicit sexual references.


Extremely strong language.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Marijuana, alcohol.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has exceptionally mature material, with strong language and explicit sexual references. Some humor that may strike some audience members as insulting to homosexuals (though screenwriter Rudnick is gay). Characters drink and smoke marijuana, and there are jokes about Valium and Prozac.

What's the story?

Lisa Kudrow plays Marci Feld, the daughter of a mogul (played by director Benjamin) whose conglomerate includes a rap music label called Felony Assault. The explicit language on the latest release from its star performer, Dr. S (Damon Wayans), has offended the powerful Senator Spinkle (Christine Baranski), who calls for a boycott that puts Feld's entire corporation at risk. When he is hospitalized with a heart attack, Marci decides that she will go to see Dr. S and work things out.

Is it any good?


Screenwriter Paul Rudnick (Adams Family Values, In and Out) had an interesting idea that just didn't pan out into a worthwhile movie. It could have made a funny seven-minute "Saturday Night Live" sketch -- a culture clash between a pampered Jewish socialite and a "ghetto fabulous" rap star. But the shelf life of satire is rarely long enough to sustain a movie production schedule, and much of the material in MARCI X feels outdated already. Are we still making fun of boy bands? And how long has it been since Bill Gates was an eligible bachelor? The material here is so slight that it is not enough to sustain an entire movie, and the absence of any comic energy whatsoever in Richard Benjamin's direction makes it seem endless even at a less than 90-minute running time.

Rudnick manages a couple of sassy comebacks, but ultimately is reduced to stealing from himself with a poor re-enactment of the best scene from In and Out. Many of the set-ups are painfully flat, especially a weird fund-raiser for a purportedly funny medical condition -- lack of feeling in the arms, demonstrated by poking children with forks. Kudrow's offbeat line readings provide some punch and Paula Garces parodies J.Lo (in her Puff Daddy phase) with some spirit. But Wayans just sounds whiny and about as threatening as a daffodil.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it means to "keep it real" and about the current debate on the influence of explict sex and violence in lyrics.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 21, 2003
DVD/Streaming release date:January 19, 2004
Cast:Damon Wayans, Jane Krakowski, Lisa Kudrow
Director:Richard Benjamin
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Run time:84 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language and sexual content

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Teen, 13 years old Written byfww April 22, 2011
What other families should know
Too much violence
Great role models
Adult Written byjkt37015 April 9, 2008

Reconciliation themes not thorough

Kudrow, as her "Friends" counterparts, stars again with non-sequeteur humor against her protagonist, Damon Wayans, ordinarily a super comic. However, this film lacks depth in its attempt to reconcile complete opposites--hiphop vs debutante. The jokes are written well but directed poorly; few get the significance; none tolerate the veneers of life's struggle in crossing the barriers. Sadly, Hollywood continues to produce shallow topics treated with inside actors(in the hood) who need scripts with social redeeming values, not casual humor. KIds will see it and remark the next day on the window-packaging, not the morality or distance significance. Soon all the sexual linkage and partnership of the main characters will dissolve until yet another casual, non-thorough film hits the marquee. Parents should see movies with their children early in adolescence and quiz them afterwards about the lessons learned even in an entertaining film, a comedy, a shallow one. "Seabiscuit" is highly recommended by this reviewer. Subtle casualness can cause more of an impact than blatant sexual offense or violence. The same is said of language. Better luck next time.