Sunday, October 5, 2008


Writing, producing, directing, and starring in the first two "Scary Movies" must have taken a lot out of the Wayans Brothers. "White Chicks" (** out of ****) is only half as hilarious as their blockbuster horror spoofs. Moreover, the Wayans stretch their one-dimensional drag comedy to the breaking point and it snaps. The jokes don't fly as thick and fast as in the "Scary Movies." Incredibly, the Wayans keep gross-out humor to a minimum in their amusing combination of "Big Momma's House" meets the classic 1959 comedy "Some Like It Hot" with Marilyn Monroe. Of course, the main reason to watch "White Chicks" is to howl at Shawn and Marlon as they don women's apparel and struggle to pass themselves off as the title heroines. Suspending your disbelief to accept this far-fetched farce in which two African-American dudes dress-up in drag as blondes may require more than some audiences can conjure up. Nevertheless, logic has nothing to do with enjoying this threadbare but entertaining comedy. Along the way, the Wayans ridicule thin girls who insist they are horrendously fat. At the same time, the Wayans show considerable sympathy and compassion for underdog girls. However, somewhere along the way, the Wayans forgot about jokes and devoted more time to plot complications and exposition. Furthermore, "White Chicks" isn't so much racial as it is cultural. Unfortunately, after the guys go undercover as gals, they learn nothing from their experience.

Cast as accident-prone FBI agents, Shawn and Marlon Wayans get the chance to redeem themselves after a sting-gone-bad against drug dealers if they can crack a kidnapping plot against two high society bimbos Tiffany and Brittany Wilson (Anne Dudek and Maitland Ward) that want nothing to do with our dimwitted duo. The opening sequence establishes how our heroes rely on latex disguises to trap evildoers, but they take their ideas farther than anybody imagines when they try to impersonate the Wilson sisters. Initially, after being assigned to escort the Wilsons to a ritzy weekend in the Hamptons, Marcus Copeland (Marlon Wayans) careens into a ditch, and the gals wind up with scratches on their faces. These blond WASPs refuse to attend a party in the Hamptons, so they can recuperate from their scars. Meanwhile, Marcus and his brother agent Kevin (Shawn Wayans) realize they must do something if they want to keep their badges, so they have latex masks made and pad themselves to resemble the Wilsons. Naturally, they couldn't fool anybody in the costumes they wear, but such is part of the wacky, off-beat humor of "White Chicks."

Watching the Wayans try to behave like Caucasian cuties is pretty funny. They wear blue contact lens, obvious wigs, and have devil of a time getting into and out of their costumes. In the shallow script penned by Shawn, Marlon, and Keenen Ivory Wayans, a brawny athlete takes a liking to Marcus in his Wilson girl disguise and pursues him with the same devotion that Joe E. Brown chased Jack Lemmon in "Some Like It Hot." Nobody else in the movie makes much out of the fact that our heroes look twice as big as the other women, especially the gals who accept them as the Wilsons. Sadly, despite the hilarity of seeing the Wayans impersonate women, "White Chicks" doesn't deliver enough comedy to get it over its dull spots.

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