director: Kevin Rodney Sullivan
writer: David Ronn, Jay Scherick & Peter Tolan
starring: Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher and Zoe Saldana
genre: Comedy | Romance | Remake
There was no reason to remake the classic "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" and the filmmakers of the remake knew exactly that. They turned the concept around, from a white family to black family having iffy problems with a racial marriage and instead of a drama, it was turned into a romantic comedy. "Guess Who" is funny film that shouldn't be compared to the original as it dosen't really try to be it or play off the same beats.
We follow a young couple of Simon Green (Ashton Kutcher) and Theresa Jones (Zoe Saldana). Both in love and happy with each other. For Theresa there is one last step to take in their relationship, which is the approval of her father Percy (Bernie Mac). Simon will be put to the test if hes the right man for Theresa. Not because of the color of his skin, but of how big is his heart, courage and stamina of loving her and standing up to the big man Percy.
The worst thing about this film, is not that its a loosely based remake, nor that its a cliched romantic comedy and not even that it has Ashton Kutcher in it. Its the appalling musical score and soundtrack throughout the film. There many ways of applying music to support the story, none of which are done here.
When nobody has the clue what to do, it only gives us more fuel to crap on these films. Almost always in rom-coms do they put this happy, conventional and pretentious music. Which you would only expect from a lousy sitcom or from bad mall or elevator music. It only gets played when a specific comedic or romantic beat needs to emphasized. Is not there as a companion piece to the scene, but played to emphasize even more that this scene is "funny" or "romantic". How do you know its funny? The music just played that emotion, that's how you know and if that wasn't enough, the music soundtrack of licensed songs dosen't help the film that much as well.
The writing at times is funny and the situations that follow are bearable. The most evident problem, besides the music. Is how the characters are made to act and say things that are inappropriate. It feels out of place and most likely will make you feel like squirming.
Romantic comedies as much as they play to the cliches, in the end they just to be bearable. Guess Who is not a bad film, nor a disgraceful remake. It took a good idea and switches it around enough to be a separate experience from original classic. It might not be hilarious or a love story to remember, but its watchable and that was its ultimate goal and accomplishment.