Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana
Director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
Running Time: 105 mins
Guess Who is an American film about a white man who goes to visit his black girlfriend’s family for the weekend, only to be met with the disapproving eyes of her father.
I had a lot of fun with this film. While it certainly doesn’t compare to the brilliance of the story that inspired it, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, Guess Who is a delightfully light-hearted update of the same premise, with simpler but enjoyably more manic comedy, along with a bit of touching emotion, throughout.
Let’s start off with getting the comparisons out of the way first. In all truth, there’s very little about Guess Who and Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner which is actually the same. In fact, while the ’60s classic finds its drama in providing an audacious dive into deep-seated racial tensions of the era, Guess Who is far less focused on race identity.
While there are a fair few light-hearted white vs. black jibes thrown around, the meat of this story focuses on the relationship between a well-meaning young man and his girlfriend’s difficult father, who will stop at nothing to make sure she’s ‘safe’, by checking him out from head to toe.
As a result, while the overarching premise of the two films is the same, Guess Who draws a lot more from the farce of meeting a romantic partner’s family, in the vein of the brilliantly funny Meet The Parents.
This movie isn’t exactly laugh-out-loud hilarious, owing to an often simple screenplay with fairly one-dimensional characters, but the energy of leads Ashton Kutcher and especially Bernie Mac does make it a lot of fun to watch regardless.
Bolstered by delightfully cringeworthy moments of awkwardness, alongside a sweet albeit simple story about acceptance of family that lies underneath all the comic mania, Guess Who is a thoroughly enjoyable comedy from start to finish, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.2 overall.