I have a rule, The flashier the press kit, the worse the movie, and Guess Who has a very flashy press kit. It is a faux leather bound book with cut-outs of Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac that move when you open the front cover. In this case, however, you can’t judge the book by its cover, or a movie by its press kit.
Guess Who takes its inspiration, but very little else from the 1967 Stanley Kramer directed Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, with Spencer Tracey, Sidney Poitier, and Katharine Hepburn. That one was a socially aware film, which tackled heavy racial issues with a mix of humor and drama. In 2005 the movie has been remade into an off the wall, disposable comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac which inverts the original idea by having an African-American family face the entrance of a white boyfriend into their home.
The father is played by Bernie Mac—and I don’t know why he bothers with character names in movies because he essentially just plays himself in everything. He should simply call himself Bernie Mac and be done with it. Fortunately he’s really good at being Bernie Mac and here he is fun to watch. As the boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher looks good in clothes and doesn’t bump into the furniture.
The tone of the film is a little weird—somewhere between Meet the Parents and Father of the Bride, managing to be both trite and the earnest at the same time.
It lacks the import or backbone of the original, yet Guess Who still manages to say something sensible about tolerance while being fluffy and fast moving.
I liked this movie more than I thought I would.