Saturday, November 27, 2004

White Chicks smacked me up the side o' the head

I walked into White Chicks expecting to see some really gross humor which I wouldn't appreciate -- you know, the toilet humor the Wayans brothers were so famous for in Living Color -- but I also expected to find some really funny moments, situational humor and bright, edgy dialogue. I got both, but not necessarily in the best proportion.

You meet the two FBI agents in the middle of a drug bust at the beginning of the film. These are the most unprofessional, outright BAD FBI agents you've ever seen. (I don't mean BAD in a good way, just in an inept way.) But the beginning sequence is nicely done, and sets up the rest of the film. They're educated, they're dangerous, they're....badly trained and mostly stupid, but they hope they'll get that break and show their boss just what they're made of. They get the chance to substitute for two young socially climbing women in the Hamptons, and...okay, the movie lost me right there. REASON smacked me up the side of the head and yelled at me, DAMN! THERE IS NO WAY THESE TWO GUYS ARE GONNA LOOK LIKE TWO WHITE WOMEN!

They don't. They can't. Even if you manage to suspend disbelief, it really doesn't work. Yet the movie insists on it. There are some funny gags built around what they have to wear, and especially what they imagine upper crust white chicks to be all about. The sequence around white vs. black music is quite good.

A few funny moments, however, do not a comedy make. The premise doesn't work, and the framework around which the comedy is built is flimsy. This is a situational comedy where the situation doesn't matter. There are a couple of supporting actors who are very good with the small amount of material they have, but it's not enough to sustain this movie for two hours. I think ten minutes would have been enough. Why can't we just have 10-minute movies and forget the rest of the formula?

There are some homages here, if you can stop gagging enough to appreciate them. A not-so-veiled attempt to duplicate moments of Some Like It Hot plus the dog sight gag from There's Something About Mary, although recognizable, are pathetic ways of telling us we're in the wrong movie.

If you want to see the funny parts of this movie, watch the trailer. Those guys who put trailers together are geniuses. They should get an award for making this movie seem like the comedy of the year, convincing me to put my $10 down to go into the theatre.

Thumbs down for White Chicks.


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