Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoë Saldanna, Judith Scott, Kellee Stewart, Robert Curtis-Brown and Hal Williams

Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Running Time:
106 mins

Out to buy on DVD 12/09/05

"No Daddy, this is Simon"

For Simon (Kutcher) and Theresa (Saldanna) announcing their engagement at Theresa's parent's 25th anniversary party sounded perfect, in principle but Simon hadn't even met her family yet. Her father Percy Jones (Mac) has never liked any of Theresa's boyfriends and had already run a credit check on Simon. Even though he had passed with flying colours and looked like the perfect suitor for his eldest daughter, Theresa had forgot to tell her family that Simon was white.

Hollywood's passion for remakes continues unabated with a re-imagining of the Oscar winning 'Guess who's coming to diner?' but this one is different, or so they would like you to believe.

With the original starring Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn and Sydney Poitier, this update really had a lot to live up to and it fails miserably. The original revolved around a daughter bringing her black fiancée to meet her white middle class family. This was a touchy and even controversial subject in 1967 but the film became an award winner. The 2005 update switches the roles around and with a stroke of genius we now have a white fiancée meeting a black family.

While the filmmakers and the cast say this movie isn't about race but how a father is protective of his daughter and for most part it is, the line 'But he's white' is used far too often. This is the so called running joke through the entire film as the film emphasises the differences between race and culture but in this modern day and age the differences are becoming less and less relevant, not according to Hollywood however. It is still not really acceptable for a mixed couple to headline a film. When is the last time a major studio movie had a mixed leading couple who became intimate, when there wasn't a major star involved (Tom Cruise and Thandie Newton in Mission Impossible 2) or a British influence (Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry in Die Another Day)? It just doesn't happen so it is up to the smaller budget movies to break those boundaries and 'Guess Who' does nothing to help this.

Trying to break down the barriers of race relations with an extremely small Hollywood hammer 'Guess Who' ends up been a lot more racist than it should be. Show that racism is an issue, whatever your colour or ethnicity drags the film and many of its characters into stereotypes, alienating both sides of the audience it is desperately trying to get together.

The performances don't exactly help the cause either. Bernie Mac is a gifted comedic actor but this character has no range and has nothing for the actor to work with. He should have just been an over protective father but the race card is played far too many times for this to work. Ashton Kutcher just can't act. After slightly raising his game in 'The Butterfly Effect', he plummets back down to his previous level with this rather annoying and unbelievable performance. You just can't see what Theresa sees in him. The shining light is Zoë Saldanna. Theresa is a girl anyone could fall for and she succeeds creating a character that you instantly like and can route for.

'Guess Who' is a film about mixed race relationships that should have just been a movie about an other protective dad. The way the film uses race as a joke makes you think that if the roles had been like the original version, would it have been as acceptable?

Deleted scenes with optional audio commentary from director Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Gag reel
'Love Is The Melody: The Making Of Guess Who' featurette

Bringing down the House

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