Guess Who
Columbia/Tri-Star // PG-13 // $29.99 // August 2, 2005
Review by Aaron Beierle | posted August 2, 2005
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The Movie:

"Guess Who" falls into that in-between crack - I certainly didn't feel it was a bad movie, but nothing about it really stood out to me, either. Although not entirely a remake, "Guess Who" does take bits of the classic "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner" and plays the situation in reverse. Ashton Kutcher plays Simon Green, a white guy in finance, who - early in the movie - decides that it's best to leave his job.

Soon after, it's off to New Jersey to meet the parents of his African-American fiancee, Theresa (Zoe Saldana). Her parents, however, are not aware that Simon is white, which causes an awkward situation when Simon meets her father, Percy (Bernie Mac) and he thinks that Simon is the cab driver (Mike Epps) who dropped them off.

What follows is just about what anyone who sits down to watch the film expected: Percy and Simon don't see eye to eye, Percy is overprotective of his daughter, even going as far as to get a credit report on Simon; Simon, trying to make himself look good, lies and then manages to dig himself into deeper trouble with Percy.

The performances aren't bad, as Saldana has a very nice presence and both Kutcher and Mac (who are really good together) are appealing in performances that are a little more subtle than both usually offer. The problem that I had with the film is that, while occasionally funny and moving, there are many stretches where the situations are really quite "sitcom"-ish ("Meet the Parents...Again" and safe - the movie really doesn't seem to want to take any chances with the material, resulting in a mostly edgeless and, at times, somewhat dated-feeling affair. To make matters a bit worse, the movie veers between comedy and drama pretty awkwardly.

And yet, the movie goes by pretty quickly and the cast generally tries to make the best of the material. There are scattered good-to-great moments here, but then it falls back into the ordinary for extended periods. Although writer Peter Tolan (one of three on this film) has been involved with some duds, his current work on Dennis Leary's "Rescue Me" (and, before that, Leary's "The Job" indicates he's certainly capable of better. Overall, "Guess Who" passes the time well enough, but really had the potential to be something better.


The DVD

VIDEO: "Guess Who" is presented by Columbia/Tristar in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The presentation quality is about average. Sharpness and detail are generally satisfactory, with images that appear crisp, but not overly detailed - and, on a couple of occasions, a bit on the soft side.

No print flaws are spotted, but some light edge enhancement is seen, along with a couple of trace instances of pixelation. Colors looked fairly warm and remained well-saturated and smooth, with no smearing.

SOUND: A comedy mix with few exceptions, "Guess Who"'s 5.1 presentation does feature some minor instances where the surrounds deliver some light ambience/effects, but the majority of the audio is geared towards the front speakers. Audio quality was fine, with crisp, dynamic music and dialogue that remains mostly crisp and clear.

EXTRAS: A commentary with director Kevin Rodney Sullivan, a "making of", a gag reel, deleted scenes and promos for other titles from the studio.

Final Thoughts: "Guess Who" has its moments and the cast gives a solid effort, but the material is very standard, "Meet the Parents"-ish stuff. A rental for those interested. The DVD offers satisfactory audio/video quality and a pretty decent batch of supplements.



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