You know what? When I woke up this morning, my idea of the perfect day did not include a goddamn trip to a matinee screening of Are We Done Yet? And, at a certain point, a movie critic has to take a stand. You know? Lookit: I’ll sit through the worst of the worst. Give me a Tim Allen Christmas film, a moronic Rob Schneider flick, or even a movie starring the heavyweights of idiocy, Jessica Simpson and Dane Cook. There is an enormous amount of foul-smelling cinematic offal I can withstand. Hell, I sat through Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector for God’s sake. And I came out of it better man — as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger. And I’m bench pressing about 450 lbs. of metaphorical weight these days.
But, a line needs to be drawn somewhere. I suffered through Are We There Yet?, and it was about as unpleasant an experience as one could imagine. The truth is, nobody needs to witness a child vomit all over the author of “Fuck tha Police,” or stand idly by and observe as the star of the spectacular Boyz-N-The-Hood shares scenes with elderly folks cast for their singular ability to express delight with their own flatulence. It’s just not acceptable. Here is a man who raps about hypocrisy and racism and then takes a few million dollars to star in a film that trades in on racial stereotypes. How’s that for freakin’ hypocrisy?
And I don’t need to see Are We Done Yet? to tell you that it’s about Nick Persons (Ice Cube) moving his family from the city out into the goddamn forest to raise his kids in a hopeless fixer-upper of a country home. I don’t need to see the film to tell you that Hank Nelken’s (Saving Silverman) script, a remake of Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House also borrows heavily from both The Money Pit and fucking Funny Farm to create a series of the least funny sight gags ever printed on film. Yes, the roof will cave in. The electrical work will perform some physics-defying stunt. The plumbing will spit up its sewer-ripe contents. And Ice Cube will fall off a goddamn ladder. Probably more than once (he’s got 90 minutes to fill, after all).
I don’t need to see it to know that wild animals — raccoons, bats, owls, and scary fish — will be the real villains of Are We Done Yet?, and that one or two of them may even talk. Because talking animals are never funny — and that’s precisely what director Steve Carr is going for, because he’d hate to show up the original’s director, Brian Levant, who is the absolute worst director in Hollywood, except for Steve Carr (Daddy Day Care, Dr. Doolittle 2.) And I don’t need to see it to know that ass-cracks will be the real star of the show here (we are talking about plumbers, electricians, and roofers, after all — ass-crack jokes are all but inevitable). Nor do I have to watch Are We Done Yet? to know that Ice Cube’s perpetual scowl, his constant annoyance, and his do-gooder intentions (“I can fix it!”) will all dissolve into that big Teddy Bear smile of his for a few brief seconds after his wife (the beautiful Nia Long, wasted again) delivers twins, the house gets the Extreme Home Makeover treatment, and he becomes one with nature. Even that goddamn raccoon. And since John C. McGinley (God save his dignity, please) plays the small-town real estate agent that sells Nick the house, as well as the contractor who remodels it, dollars to donuts says he’s also the town motherfucking doctor who delivers his children. At the house. Indeed, just about the only mystery in the entire film will be … no. Wait. There is no mystery. None whatsoever. Except maybe what song plays over the end credits. I’m guessing a feel-good family-friendly hip-hop song.
But, most of all folks, I don’t need to see Are We Done Yet? to tell you that it will suck. And if you need a movie critic to waste half a day to tell you that, well, then I’ve severely misjudged the intelligence level of our readership. And if you’ve inadvertently stumbled upon our website via a Google search for “shit sex” (what can I say, it’s one of our more popular search terms) and you’re looking for someone to validate your fondness for this Ice Cube travesty, well I have only these words for you: Go fuck yourself. In a big pile of manure, if that’s what does it for you.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.
Are We Done Yet? / Dustin Rowles
Film | April 4, 2007 | Comments ()