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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins (review)

I should have walked out at the “comical” dog-sex scene. Instead I endured until Martin Lawrence got skunked in the face — that should have made me happy, and yet I felt dirty all over, and had to escape. Still, I feel confident in saying, though I saw only two-thirds of the film, that this is one of the absolute worst movies ever produced by the hands of humans. Oh, sure, who wouldn’t be charmed by the “sentimental” spectacle of Lawrence’s hotshot L.A. talk-show host heading home to Bumfuck, The South, for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration, with his gorgon of a girlfriend — she won Survivor; that’s the kind of aggressive bitch she is — in tow, so that all and sundry of his redneck, blackface family can taunt him about how “white” he’s become? Theaters will have to take out special insurance for all the audience member suffering whiplash from trying to keep up with the changes in tone of this monstrosity, which veers from “sappy claptrap” to “minstrel show” with nary a warning: the only consistency to the film comes via the fact that just about every single character here is uniformly and unrelenting a horrible excuse for a human being. The only cinematic salvation possible in those last few minutes that I couldn’t bear to watch would have been if poor James Earl Jones, as Lawrence’s father, were actually raptured up into heaven by Jesus Christ himself, the Almighty Himself having taken pity upon him.

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watch at home

MPAA: rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, language and some drug references

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb

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