Guess Who

Guess Who

5.0 6
Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan

Cast: Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana

     
 

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A man gets a very big surprise when he meets his prospective son-in-law in this comedy. Percy Jones (Bernie Mac) is the understandably proud father of Theresa (Zoe Saldana), a beautiful and intelligent young woman living in New York City. When Percy learns that his daughter is dating someone and things are getting serious, he decides to do some research, and learns… See more details below

Overview

A man gets a very big surprise when he meets his prospective son-in-law in this comedy. Percy Jones (Bernie Mac) is the understandably proud father of Theresa (Zoe Saldana), a beautiful and intelligent young woman living in New York City. When Percy learns that his daughter is dating someone and things are getting serious, he decides to do some research, and learns that her beau is a solid businessman. Percy arranges to meet the young man, but is a bit taken aback when he comes face to face with Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher) -- Percy and his wife are African-American, and Simon is very, but very Caucasian. When it becomes clear that Simon and Theresa's relationship is likely altar-bound, Percy finds himself suddenly full of misgivings about the young man, especially since Simon tends to get rather clumsy when he's nervous. Guess Who was loosely adapted from the 1967 hit Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, though the race of the prospective father and son have been swapped, and the original film's comic undercurrent has been pushed to the forefront.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
For those who love Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn-Sidney Poitier classic, a race-reversing remake that plunks Ashton Kutcher into the Poitier role is a less than an appetizing prospect. But then, changing the movie’s mechanics from light melodrama to straight-ahead comedy reduces the prince of Punk’d to something of a straight man and tasks Bernie Mac with the heavy lifting -- and he carries it off hilariously. Mac portrays Percy Jones, overprotective father to the lovely and talented Theresa (Zoe Saldana), whose relationship with the lily-white Simon (Kutcher) drives her dad to blustery exasperation. Actually, this is less a Dinner remake than a Meet the Parents retread, as Simon spends a calamitous weekend at the home of his girlfriend's parents, who are preparing to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Released in 1967, Dinner was a groundbreaking film that earnestly explored racial prejudice, with the father (Tracy) thrust into a situation that provocatively challenges his liberal credentials. But Guess Who mainly goes for easy laughs: the suspicious Percy insists Simon sleep on a basement sofa bed, and then joins him; another set piece finds the two rivals squaring off on a go-kart track; and when Simon models his girlfriend's lingerie for a quick laugh, you know that Percy’s due for an entrance. In a dinner table scene that is the film’s best moment, Percy goads Simon to repeat "black" jokes he has heard (an Easter egg contains an extended version of the scene in which Percy offers his own white-man jokes). For fans of the young stars, Guess Who is a somewhat satisfying romantic comedy. But with his laser-hot glare and flair for the slow burn, it is Mac who really keeps things cooking.
All Movie Guide
At the time Guess Who hit theaters, studios were spitting out ill-conceived remakes at a clip of one per month. Kevin Rodney Sullivan's film bucks that trend in a refreshing way: it revisits only the basic structure of its source material, and there's an actual ongoing relevance to the hot-button issues explored in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Flip-flop the races, sprinkle in believable characters and scenarios, and -- voilà -- a surprise hit (70 million dollars domestic) for two actors with checkered film resumés. The key to Guess Who is that it takes pains to construct a real family at its center, one that's uneasily transformed by this outsider (Ashton Kutcher, whose choppy white-guy haircut is the only thing in the movie that can truly be called "bad"). Sure, Bernie Mac's Percy Jones resembles the grumbling patriarch from the actor's eponymous sitcom, but his relationships with his wife and daughter (the superlative Judith Scott and Zoe Saldana) round him into someone far removed from the sitcom realm. Sullivan and his screenwriters consistently win points by going small and warm, rather than large and mean. Unlike the other prevailing domestic comedies of the day (Meet the Fockers comes to mind), Guess Who rarely allows its set pieces to cross over into slapstick ridiculousness. Unfortunately, one notable exception -- when Mac catches Kutcher trying on lingerie, a bit staged just to throw yuks into the trailer -- may damage the film's chances of being seen by an intelligent audience. A much better and more typical indication of its IQ is the uncomfortable scene in which Simon (Kutcher) gets goaded into reciting racist jokes at the dinner table. Unusually perceptive for a populist comedy, this sequence underscores the fine lines between humor and insult, intimacy and estrangement, and prejudice and understanding.

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/02/2005
UPC:
0043396101135
Original Release:
2005
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
4,847

Special Features

Closed Caption; Deleted scenes with optional director's commentary; Gag reel; Love Is the Melody: the Making of Guess Who; Director's feature commentary

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Bernie Mac Percy Jones
Ashton Kutcher Simon Green
Zoe Saldana Theresa Jones
Judith Scott Marilyn Jones
Hal Williams Howard Jones
Kellee Stewart Keisha Jones
Robert Curtis-Brown Dante
RonReaco Lee Reggie
Niecy Nash Actor

Technical Credits
Kevin Rodney Sullivan Director
Joseph M. Caracciolo Executive Producer
Jason Goldberg Producer
Steve Greener Executive Producer
Gary Kosko Art Director
Ashton Kutcher Producer
Karl Walter Lindenlaub Cinematographer
John Murphy Score Composer
Kevin O'Connell Sound/Sound Designer
Jono Oliver Asst. Director
Paul Peters Production Designer
J.C. Roberts Associate Producer
David Ronn Original Story,Screenwriter
Judy Ruskin-Howell Costumes/Costume Designer
Greg P. Russell Sound/Sound Designer
Jay Scherick Original Story,Screenwriter
Paul Seydor Editor
Erwin Stoff Producer
Betty Thomas Executive Producer
Victoria Thomas Casting
Peter Tolan Screenwriter
Jenno Topping Producer

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Start [:22]
2. Simon & Theresa [5:35]
3. Percy Jones [1:59]
4. Guess Who [2:57]
5. "Do You Like Sports?" [4:25]
6. Not a Crossdressor [3:30]
7. No Rooms [4:26]
8. Blackballed [6:27]
9. The Basement [2:57]
10. Good Morning [3:22]
11. 50,000 Dollars [4:38]
12. Go-Karting [3:20]
13. Dangerous Jokes [3:03]
14. Fallout [6:37]
15. Sneaking Out [3:24]
16. A Good Place to Raise Kids [2:49]
17. Jamal [4:42]
18. Liars [2:22]
19. Garden Party [3:57]
20. Bonding Over Booze [4:28]
21. The Morning After [3:53]
22. Apology [2:07]
23. "The Engagement Is Off." [2:30]
24. 33 Missed Calls [3:43]
25. Rescue Mission [3:40]
26. Vows [4:22]
27. "Welcome to the Family." [2:18]
28. 25th Anniversary DVD [2:17]

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