A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the parent advisories here refer to the more readily available unrated version and not the PG-13 movie seen in theaters. Because the central plot involves two African-American men disguised as white women there is much racial humor attempted, including innuendo, “black versus white” stereotyping, and slurs. Coarse, raunchy language is continuous, including numerous references to male and female genitalia, breasts, sexual promiscuity, and sexual acts. The women are vapid sexual objects throughout. They dress, dance, and behave in a provocative manner. Farts account for many of the plot turns and much of the hoped-for comedy in the movie.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In WHITE CHICKS, Shawn and Marlon Wayans play FBI agents Kevin and Marcus Copeland. After they bungle a drug bust, they are assigned to protect the Wilson sisters from a kidnapper. The sisters are heading to the Hamptons where they hope to be photographed for a magazine cover. A minor car accident on the way there leaves them with scratches on their faces and they refuse to be seen that way. So, the Copelands call in the FBI's crackerjack undercover makeup team to transform them into the Wilsons. Despite the fact that they are taller than the girls and the latex masks applied to their faces make them look like victims of Botox overkill, no one in the Hamptons seems to notice anything significantly different about "the girls." The Copelands shop, participate in a fashion show and a dance-off, and go out on dates, Marcus (in drag) with a smitten athlete (Terry Crews) and Kevin (as a man but pretending to be someone else to impress a pretty reporter).
Is it any good?
Appealing performers and a couple of funny moments don't make up for a lazy and generic script in this predictable farce. This movie borrows characters and plots from many other movies. And White Chicks doesn't pay attention to its plot -- but sloppy inconsistencies like the ones here become a distraction that interferes with the ability of the audience to enjoy even the jokes that work.
Gender- and race-switching are inherently funny but the situations and jokes do very little to build on that energy and sometimes actually get in the way. There are predictable culture clashes, and predictable life lessons as the Copelands develop more empathy for women and encourage the society girls to have more self-respect. But the lessons are delivered with no more enthusiasm or sincerity than the jokes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what Kevin and Marcus learn from pretending to be white women. Why was it so hard for Karen, Lisa, and Gina to feel good about themselves and their relationships?
Families can also talk about stereotypes and humor. Did this movie do a good job of making fun of people that stereotype or did it perpetuate stereotypes? Or a little of both?
There's a lot of sexual humor in this movie. Was any of it funny or just raunchy? Or a little of both?
- In theaters: June 25, 2004
- On DVD or streaming: October 26, 2004
- Cast: Jaime King, Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans
- Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: crude and sexual humor, language and some drug content
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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