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The Column

Please Don't See This Movie
10/10/04

Shawn, Marlon - I tried watching White Chicks. I did. I desperately tried watching. I even kept watching ten minutes after I wanted to stop watching. I just couldn't do it. I'm sorry. But not as much as you should be.

White Chicks was the in-flight movie during a recent trip to Los Angeles. It was so bad it made me ashamed that I was en route to where they make such terrible films. It was boring, trite, and offensive. Or at least the first eleven minutes were. That's all I watched before deciding to instead do the in-flight crossword puzzle. I figured that with the crossword puzzle, it would actually take me a few seconds before I knew the ending.

That's right - ten minutes after I wanted to stop watching was just 11 minutes in. It's rare that a movie is so bad you can decide it sucks in just a minute. Especially when you're in a situation where you desperately want to be entertained. If I were on a plane with nothing to do, I'd even watch "The Bachelorette." That show, by the way, should not be called "The Bachelorette." It's 25 guys trying to nail one girl. If Carson Daly hadn't have already taken the title, I'd recommend the show be "Last Call."

"White Chicks" opens with the Wayans Spawn in a sting operation where there job is to catch drug dealers by mocking Hispanic people. To "blend in" undercover as two Hispanic guys, the Wayans' yelled random Spanish words and danced a lot. Aside from that being fairly insulting and terribly dull, it also displayed an acute lack of faith in the audience. Their characters, who are smart enough to become undercover FBI agents, are not smart enough to actually be undercover. And somehow, I wasn't smart enough to stop watching for eleven whole minutes.

Martin Lawrence's "Blue Streak" did the same thing. To get cheap laughs (though I can't imagine from who), Lawrence's characters were over the top and horrifically inconsistent. But that might be part of the genre. You know the genre I mean - terribly bad movies that somehow get made anyway.

"White Chicks" is one long race joke. And it's the same joke we saw in "Malibu's Most Wanted" and "Bringing Down the House" and a billion other movies and TV shows, especially if they star anyone from the Wu Tang Clan.

These movies are based on the premise that it's funny when black people are different. Or maybe it's not funny at all because we've seen these same jokes done over and over again, and they weren't even funny the first time. We get it - black people like rap music and white people don't. Black people can dance and white people can't. Shawn Wayans can't make a good movie and neither can Marlon. That's not a generalization that you find in "White Chicks," it's just a conclusion you'll come to after watching it.

In an effort to save money, airlines have cut back severely. The snacks are smaller, passengers have to pay for meals, and most of the flight attendants aren't even hot anymore. But the one thing they've left untouched are the terrible, terrible movies. America West, if you're listing - please take "White Chicks" and give me back my peanuts.

The movie was so bad that actually read the in-flight magazine, which included lots of articles on why every city in America is the best city to visit right now. It also included articles about politics, written by people with such little political expertise that one writer's main credit was working on her father's political campaign 30 years ago. The article was still more entertaining than "White Chicks."

I did glance up at the screen every so often when I was between stories and managed to see a very angry FBI director yelling at his charges (of course), two drunk guys wake up with each other (of course), and an old fashion dance-off (of course). I'd have put the headphones back in to see who won the dance-off, but in that situation, everyone loses.

I was happy to see that very few people on the plane were watching the movie. A black gentleman across the aisle from me seemed equally disgusted at how bad the film was. That's one way that white people and black people are similar - we both think that "White Chicks" is a terrible movie.

Or maybe he just really wanted to do the crossword puzzle.

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