It’s a common complaint: Even the most talented African-American actors have to fight for decent roles, which are few and far between. It explains why Tyler Perry can cast some of the best black actors in the business. It also partially explains Cuba Gooding’s post-Oscar career. Unless your name is Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Eddie Murphy, or Will Smith, occasional slumming is necessary. Look no further than Oscar winner Forrest Whitaker for proof. Here’s a great Oscar winning actor who has been around for 30 years and has only a handful of great parts. Despite winning an Oscar in 2006, he hasn’t made anything of quality since: Vantage Point, Street Kings, Powder Blue? And if he doesn’t get anything good soon, he’ll be forced to go behind the camera again, and nobody wants Forest Whitaker in the director’s chair, see, e.g., First Daughter, Hope Floats.
It hasn’t gotten any better. He’s got six movies on tap, and besides a speaking role in Where the Wild Things Are, it’s not looking any better for him. For instance, he plays the lead in a Tim Story Katrina movie, and Tim Story is 17 kinds of awful (Fantastic Four, Taxi). And as we mentioned last week, he’s also starring in another Jekyll and Hyde movie, playing Jekyll to 50 Cents’ Hyde. Ugh.
It gets worse, though. Now the man has gone and signed onto a family wedding movie alongside … Carlos Mencia. Jesus. Maybe the man just takes everything (see Battlefield Earth). Maybe his brain is missing the part involving discretion. Anyway, the logline: It’s “a clash-of-cultures comedy; the story centers on two overbearing fathers (Whitaker, Mencia) who must put aside their differences to plan the wedding of their son and daughter (America Ferrera) in less than two weeks.”
So, it sounds like every other family wedding comedy. Except this one stars an Oscar winner and the least talented comedian this side of Dane Cook. Can’t wait!