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Guess Who
Genre Comedy
Year: 2005

Guess Who is a remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (1967), which won 2 Oscars, and included Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracey and Sidney Poitier. In 1967, there were some states in America that were against mixed-marriages and relationships. The film was probably the equivalent of today’s view on homosexuality.

Guess Who is much tamer in comparison, and having a white guy with a good credit rating(Ashton Kutcher), instead of a black doctor (Sidney Poitier), makes the situation comical rather than dramatic. Bernie Mac plays Percy Jones, a Loan Officer, with a chip on his shoulder. His daughter, Theresa (Zoe Saldana) arrives home with her new boyfriend, who happens to be white. Percy isn’t impressed, and tries to persuade his daughter to break it off with the white boy. Percy and his wife, Marilyn Jones, are planning to renew their wedding vows, to reinforce their marriage.

When Simon Green (Kutcher) arrives on their doorstep, the focus shifts onto keeping Simon away from Theresa. Simon and Theresa have plans of their own, and are visiting to announce their engagement. Percy doesn’t trust Simon as far as he can throw him, and his position affords him some behind-the-scenes investigation on the unsuspecting white boy. Simon has neglected to tell anyone that he quit his job, and plays along with the father in order to impress him. Matters are aggravated by revealing truths. But when Theresa and Marilyn lose their composure, the two guys are left to make amends … starting with themselves.

Bernie Mac has been funnier, and so has Ashton Kutcher. The two make a fairly interesting combination, and there are some really funny moments in the film. Mac uses his eyes to great effect, and Kutcher makes use of his trademark silliness, and boyish charm. There is not all that much chemistry between Kutcher and Saldana, and many of the scenes seem slightly forced. The conflicts make the story, and the film holds as a romantic comedy. It’s not nearly as good as the dated Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?, but it holds some weight as a fun entertainment piece.

Apparently Kutcher wore a red Kaballah thread in the making of the film, which cost a couple of arms and a legs to scratch out in the final production. The mood is upbeat and fun, and although it isn’t totally convincing, you’ll still manage to find some value in watching. The racial differences are ignored, and it’s Mac’s character just entertains a general dislike for Kutcher’s character … that is, until Kutcher decides to tell some black jokes at the Jones’ dining table.

The bottom line: Decent.

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