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White Chicks

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: White Chicks

Starring: Marlon Wayans, Shawn Wayans
Director: Keenen Ivory Wayans
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 108 Minutes
Release Date: June 2004
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Brittany Daniel, Rochelle Aytes, Michael Teigen, John Henry Reardon, Suzy Joachim, John Heard, Frankie Faison, Terry Crews, Faune A. Chambers

Review by Susan Granger
2 stars out of 4

In this drag comedy, Shawn and Marlon Wayans play ambitious FBI agents who go deep undercover as high society debutantes to investigate a kidnapping ring. Predictably, the homeboys exploit not only race, gender and class stereotypes but also sex and etiquette.

Kevin and Marcus Copeland (the Wayans brothers) are assigned to transport wealthy Brittany and Tiffany Wilson (Maitland Ward and Anne Dudek) from the airport to a debutante party at an exclusive Hamptons resort because the spoiled hotel heiresses are believed to be the targets of a kidnapping. But when a minor mishap deters the ditsy, demanding divas (obviously modeled on Paris and Nikki Hilton) from attending the soiree, Kevin and Marcus assume their privileged identities. And as the narcissistic celebrities with an attitude, they wreak havoc wherever they go.

Director Keenan Ivory Wayans, his co-writers and younger siblings shamelessly "borrow" from cinematic predecessors like "Some Like It Hot" and "Tootsie" in this spoof of dim-witted, dysfunctional behavior, while the ambivalent social commentary dips into themes like insecurity vs. perfection and belonging vs. love. Several of the episodic sketches evoke memories of "In Living Color," the TV series that launched the Wayans family to stardom.

Credit special effects make-up artists Greg Cannon and Keith Vanderlaan with pulling off the visual gimmick of thin African-American men passing as voluptuous Caucasian women, even though the masquerade quickly grows tiresome. That's when the Wayans brothers, once again, fall back on sophomoric G-string and gross flatulence humor. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "White Chicks" is a sassy, funky 5, aimed primarily at urban audiences.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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