Bringing Down the House
Director: Adam Shankman
Cast: Steve Martin, Queen Latifah, Eugene Levy, Betty White
The recent years have been fallow ones for Martin, one of the nicest guys in Hollywood … but he's back with a bang.
In a movie that isn't really all that good!
It says something for America's desire to feel good under any circumstances these days that this has been such a Box Office hit. It's funny only in parts - small parts - it actually has some pretty cringe-inducing racial overtones (in spite of it being produced by Latifah herself) and Martin, whose CV includes some of the funniest films ever made, is often merely taking up screen space.
Here, he plays his customary buttoned-down, anxt-ridden suburbanite, a divorced lawyer, who surfs the web in search of companionship. He hits on a chat-room and discovers a 'slim, blonde' possibility … who turns out to be a black convict (Latifah). She escapes and turns up at his home as part of her plan to have her sentence overturned … she makes for a most unsettling lodger.
Alas, though the film strives for laughs - some come in a good dance routine from Martin - it lacks the invention of his previous classics. It is good to see Martin back on screen; it's just that he deserved a better vehicle.
Star Rating: 3/5