The Wayanses put on whiteface

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The Wayanses put on whiteface

Two black policemen from New York go undercover in the Hamptons as two rich white socialites. This, of course means shopping, sleepovers and getting hit on by men.
On its own, the premise of “White Chicks” is funny stuff, albeit highly ludicrious. It’s a situation ripe with potential. And it stars the Wayans brothers, Marlon and Shawn, of “Scary Movie” and other comedies. But the laughs in “White Chicks,” directed by their brother Keenan Ivory Wayans, are intermittent.
Marcus (Marlon Wayans) and Kevin (Shawn Wayans) Copeland have hit bottom in their careers. In order to save their jobs, they volunteer to babysit two heiresses, Brittany (Maitland Ward) and Tiffany Wilson (Anne Dudek), poorly veiled parodies of the Hilton sisters.
The police have been alerted that the sisters might be kidnapped. But the Wilsons refuse to stay home, since the glorious Hamptons season beckons.
But on the way to the Hamptons, the Wilsons get into a car accident. Suffering minor scratches, they decide to wait it out at a nearby hotel.
Unbeknownst to them, the Copeland brothers decide to disguise themselves as the sisters, and go to the Hamptons in their place. Their career will be saved, especially if they nab the kidnappers. They also decide not to tell their boss.
So they don latex face masks and blue contact lenses, and set up their sting operation. Everyone accepts them as the Wilson sisters, despite their extra height, bulk and faces that don’t express any emotions. The height, they explain to their best friends Karen (Busy Philipps), Lisa (Jennifer Carpenter) and Tori (Jessica Cauffiel), is due to surgery on their knees, and their lack of facial movements is due to Botox.
This movie would have been a perfect opportunity for some funny cameo appearances. Too bad the filmmakers didn’t get the real Hilton sisters to appear as, let’s say, the Wilsons’ nemeses. Or even actors who have starred as rich white girls in the past; say, Alicia Silverstone of “Clueless,” or even Sarah Michelle Gellar of “Cruel Intentions.”
Terry Crews stars as Latrell Spencer, a black basketball star who likes white girls. He develops a crush on Marcus, and struts his stuff in his swimming suit. Crews is good, but, again, it would have been funny to get someone in there, like, oh, even Michael Jordan, especially in some of the scenes involving physical gags.
Instead, the movie feels like a low-budget venture, with mild cracks on race and music (Can a white girl use the “N-word” when referring to a black singer?), race and jokes (“Yo’ mamma” joke as told by a white girl: “Your mother is so stupid that she started exercising to lose weight, when she could just get a liposuction or something”), and class. The stereotypes are served up with lines (and a plot) that are pretty juvenile. Take the scene where Spencer says, “Once you go black, you’ll need a wheelchair.” A white girl then rolls up to him in a wheelchair.
Everything you’d expect to happen, happens. Sometimes it’s funny; most of the time it’s not. If you’re going to watch this movie, leave your brain at the door.


“White Chicks”
Comedy / English
97 min.
Now playing


by Joe Yonghee
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