A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that despite this family-reunion comedy's heartwarming message about remembering your roots and embracing your family, there are many raunchy jokes about sex -- including a scene of two dogs doing the deed. There's also plenty of foul language ("s--t," one use of "f--k," the "N" word), some of which is used in front of the characters' parents and other elders. Adult siblings bicker and get into fistfights, and there's a fair amount of social drinking (at one point, a pregnant woman drinks spiked punch).
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Director Malcolm D. Lee assembled a first-rate cast to star in family-reunion comedy WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS. Martin Lawrence headlines as RJ Stephens, a Dr. Phil-like talk-show host who returns to his family's Georgia home for the first time in nine years to celebrate his parents' 50th anniversary (Poppa is James Earl Jones; Mamma is Margaret Avery). Despite the presence of his gorgeous celebrity fiance Bianca (Joy Bryant), RJ is still the picked-on little brother to unimpressed siblings Otis (Michael Clarke Duncan) and Betty (Mo'Nique) and cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer). The celebratory weekend turns into a mess when RJ can't come to terms with the family that playfully belittled him growing up.
Is it any good?
With so many talented actors, it's a shame that the movie's script has so many stereotypes. There's the no-good, hustlin' cousin, the big and loud sister, the patient and loving Mamma, and even the morbidly overweight kids. With a lesser cast, the comedy would have been unwatchable, but the able actors do what they can with the surprisingly limited script. By the time two dogs start going at it, there's nothing that even Oscar nominees like Jones and Avery can do to elevate the movie from forgettable mediocrity.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the stereotypes depicted in the film. What parts of the movie do you think play up/reinforce stereotypes? How? Is it more OK for someone from a particular group to play up stereotypes of the same group than it is for someone outside the group to do the same thing? Why or why not?
- In theaters: February 8, 2008
- On DVD or streaming: June 16, 2008
- Cast: James Earl Jones, Joy Bryant, Martin Lawrence
- Director: Malcolm D. Lee
- Studio: Universal Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 113 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual content, language and some drug references.
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