Ice Cube has turned his frown upside down with the family-friendly screwball road movie Are We There Yet?
We know the actor/rapper can use his trademark scowl to be funny (the Friday
series), or to be mean (Boyz n the Hood
)--but can he use it to melt kids' hearts? That's the question Are We There Yet?
answers with a resounding yes for youngsters in the audience (which will be the lions' share), but it'll probably be an emphatic shrug for the grownups. The contrived plot has Cube playing a wannabe-player (as in ladies' man) and ex-player (as in washed-up minor league baseball star) who now owns a sports memorabilia business. His partner, (Jay Mohr) is just a throwaway, as is the talented Nia Long, the single mom that Cube sets his blinged-out sights on. To try get in her good graces, he offers to transport her two bratty kids in his pride-and-joy Lincoln Navigator for a joy ride to a distant city where she's attending an emergency business meeting so they can have a New Year's Eve celebration together. This kiddies' version of Road Trip
and Planes, Trains and Automobiles
has its cute moments, but plenty more gross-out moments which will please the kids to no end, especially as the Navigator gets more and more trashed. Suffice it to say they all learn about each others' good sides and hearts are suitably melted all around--until after the credits roll, then you'll probably forget about the whole thing.--Ted Fry, Amazon.com
Ice Cube plays Nick, a playboy bachelor and sports memorabilia collector who dates a divorced mother of two young kids who never like the men their mom dates. Things go awry when Nick offers to drivethe kids from Portland to Vancouver where their mother is stuck for work.