Chicago Sun-Times - 03/25/2005
"Bernie Mac, who often cheerfully goes over the top in his roles, here provides a focused and effective performance."
This new take on the 1967 drama GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER puts a comedic spin on interracial dating. Bernie Mac (THE BERNIE MAC SHOW) costars as Percy Jones, a wealthy black banker who has an overbearing love for his family. Percy is about to host a lavish party at his sprawling New Jersey home in celebration of his 25-year wedding anniversary to Marilyn (Judith Scott, FLIGHT PLAN). His daughter Theresa (Zoe Saldana, THE TERMINAL) is coming home for the occasion, and she's bringing her new boyfriend, Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher, THAT 70S SHOW, PUNK'D). Theresa has neglected to mention that her new beau is white, however, and the formidable Percy is in for a surprise. Though Simon does everything in his power to impress his future father-in-law, nothing will make the imposing patriarch change his undermining disposition. Matters are further complicated because Simon has recently lost his job, and he struggles to keep the family from finding out. As unrest spreads, causing tension--and plenty of laughs--in the days leading up to the party, Simon and Theresa face uncertainty in their relationship while Percy and Marilyn suffer difficulties of their own. GUESS WHO' is full of both hilarious and cringe-worthy moments, including an incredibly tense scene where Simon is goaded into entertaining the family at dinner with black jokes. The sermonizing tone of the original film is replaced with an endearing slapstick humor, and while the heartwarming family tale is present, the film doesn't shy away from the deeper underlying issues, presenting a fresh perspective on prescient cultural foibles.