The Ladies Man
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie gets a well-deserved R rating for frequent and explicit sexual references. Though intended to be comic, Leon's behavior is foolish, risky, hurtful, and exploitive. It may be an odd sign of progress in race relations that a movie like this can include a comic scene of a potential lynching, but it still may strike some viewers as uncomfortably insensitive to the tragic evidence of past racism.
What's the story?
In THE LADIES MAN, Tim Meadows plays Leon Phelps, a late-night talk show host who drinks Courvoisier cognac as he does his broadcast and has been repeatedly fined by the FCC for using inappropriate language on the air. He and his beautiful producer Julie (Karyn Parsons) are fired and have to find new work. Julie gets organized and begins making pitches to other local stations. But Leon's approach to problems is to "go have sex and wait for something to randomly happen." He tries to track down a former lover who has written to offer him a fortune. He doesn't realize that the husbands of many of his ladies have banded together to go after him, communicating via a "victims of the smiling ass" website, a reference to a tattoo of a smiley face that is glimpsed as he jumps out of the bedroom windows. Much comic chaos ensues, including a very gross bar-food eating contest.
Is it any good?
First, the good news: The Ladies Man isn't very long, and it's not as bad as some of the other SNL movies, like Superstar and It's Pat. There are some very funny moments, and Will Ferrell is great as the husband of one of The Ladies Man's ladies and some of the other SNL and Kids in the Hall veterans provide some bright spots. And, it's always great to see Billy Dee Williams.
Now, the bad news. You can't make a five minute SNL sketch into a feature-length movie, even a short one. It will have to have stretches of obvious padding, which this flick has. Most attempts to make a sketch character work in a movie try one of two options. Either he has to stay one-dimensional and get tiring or he has to have more depth and become less funny. We get both here as this movie recycles the same jokes over and over and then asks us to believe that he's really a loveable guy. Meadows the screenwriter should do better by Meadows the performer, who is much more talented than this material.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the ways that some people use sex to hide from feelings of sorrow or loneliness, and how Julie sees something in Leon that no one else does.