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What's the story?
In this update of the 1950s television comedy, husband Ralph (Cedric the Entertainer) and his wife Alice (Gabrielle Union) want to improve their lives, but they're stuck: he's still driving his bus and she's still waiting diner tables. She finds the perfect Brooklyn duplex for them to share with neighbors Norton (Mike Epps) and Trixie (a href="/reviews/Regina-Hall/">Regina Hall, but snarly developer Davis (Eric Stoltz) has cash upfront. Afraid to tell Alice that he's spent their savings, Ralph takes up a series of ridiculous money-making schemes with Norton.
Is it any good?
Yet another needless remake, THE HONEYMOONERS repeats the original's backwards gender roles, without remembering its intelligent ironies. Where the first Ralph and Alice shared a believable commitment, it's unclear why this Alice stays with this selfish Ralph. And while most of the film's target audience will not have seen the TV series, the movie might still have made good use of the textured combination of tragicomic frustration and inspired resilience demonstrated by Jackie Gleason and his costars. Cedric is more cuddly than poignant, in a thinly written role that leaves his costars without an energetic center to resist or support.
John Schultz's movie careens between glib and slapdash, only lifting basic characterizations and situations. Scenes don't hang together, Alice is distracted rather than strong and patient, and Trixie is reduced to "Alice's friend," as Davis calls her. Though Norton is mostly ridiculous, Epps is also the film's most consistently comic element. Ralph is mean to all, then learns his lesson. But you hardly care.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Kramdens' apparently different goals (she wants a house, he wants to be a successful entrepreneur), as these cause tensions. How does Ralph's friendship with Norton affect his marriage and vice versa? Why is it important to respect other people's aspirations and feelings? How might Ralph and Norton be nicer to their dog, Iggy?
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