Toothlessly trite and inundated with a relentlessly chirpy elevator-music rating, “Bringing Down the House” is a ghetto-woman-in-the-ritzy-white-suburbs culture-clash comedy sanitized to oblige the identical middle-aged white people which might be the butts of most of its jokes.
It is about an uptight, overworked, miserably divorced tax legal professional (a hammy but vanilla Steve Martin) whose life is turned the other way up when a girl he’d flirted with in a legal-forum on-line chatroom turns up on his doorstep for a date not wanting something like the delicate, younger white lawyer she’d pretended to be. She is, actually, a feisty, girthy, street-smart spitfire straight outta Compton (and performed with relish by Queen Latifah) who has simply escaped from jail and needs Martin’s assist proving her innocence on an faulty armed theft cost.
The film would have little plot if these two did not spend the subsequent 5 reels making an attempt to hoodwink Martin’s neighbors and legislation companions into pondering the loud-and-proud Latifah is a nanny or a maid — telling lie on prime of outrageous lie when a easy variation on the reality (“She’s an acquaintance that I am serving to with a case”) would have sufficed.
First-time screenwriter Jason Filardi concocts some flimsy excuse for Latifah to maneuver in with Martin (so she will bond along with his youngsters and assist him sit back) and stretches, stretches, s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-s the premise to suggest that Martin’s job and a contract with a haughty wealthy shopper (Joan Plowright) might be in jeopardy if anybody finds out.
The movie’s thought of being risqué, you see, is to make Martin’s neighbors and legislation companions — and most different white characters — cartoonishly racist. (“In the event that they’re on this neighborhood and never carrying a leaf blower…,” sniffs Betty White, because the busybody outdated broad throughout the road.)
Directed by Adam Shankman (helmer of the contemptible Jennifer Lopez romantic comedy “The Wedding ceremony Planner”), “Bringing Down the House” does handle to scrounge up a couple of comedic gems. Nebbishy Eugene Levy is a hoot as Martin’s finest good friend who has the hots for Latifah, declaring his love in hilarious white-guy makes an attempt at avenue slang (“You bought me straight trippin’, boo!”).
After proving herself a show-stopping diva in “Chicago” (to the tune of a Finest Supporting Actress Oscar nomination), right here Latifah proves herself additionally to be a pure comedienne with a magnetic, pugnacious downtown angle. Her fisticuffs with a catty WASP in a rustic membership locker room is the flick’s funniest scene — till it turns into sloppy slapstick with the opposite lady doing ridiculous aerobics-class dances each time she lands a punch.
Martin has his moments too. In reality, a pair scenes hark again to his cutting-edge comedy pinnacle as a wild and loopy man. However Shankman fails to acknowledge a very good factor when he sees it and places his comedian emphases in all of the mistaken locations. Steve Martin doing pelvic thrusts with avocados down the entrance of his pants is humorous. Steve Martin making an attempt to go for a gansta at a South Central nightclub, not a lot.
Between its predictable, telegraphed laughs and its autopilot plot (Martin wins again his ex-wife not due to something he says or does, however simply because it is happy-ending time), “Home” is an unlucky however inevitable failure. The one good to return of will probably be that it ought to substantiate the proficient and interesting Queen Latifah’s appearing profession.