"Bachelor Gets More than He Bargained"
What You Need To Know:
The setup for ARE WE THERE YET?, especially the movie’s funny first scene, is very good and has a lot of fun possibilities. The movie gets sidetracked, however, by negative elements such as Nick’s hatred of children, the children’s sometimes dangerous pranks and a lust-minded babysitter in one scene. Despite these problems, the moral point to this movie is that both children and adults must act responsibly toward one another, with kindness and gentleness.
(BB, Pa, C, Ab, L, VV, S, MM) Moral worldview about the need for children and young men to act responsibly, with some pagan content where protagonist (who hates children) thinks of himself as a playboy bachelor but must learn to act more responsibly and mean children take revenge on divorced mother’s dates because they want their father to return, and one scene refers to elderly woman’s Christian church group but another scene shows the same elderly woman offering to take younger protagonist to “Sin City”; five light obscenities, one light profanity, man appears to be saying more bad words but his voice cannot be heard by audience but Amish father and son hear it, boy accidentally urinates on woman, elderly woman passes gas, boy vomits, and talk about boy having to go to the restroom; moderate comical violence includes man hit with food products and some kind of liquid, groin kick, object hits man in groin, SUV rolls down large incline in the woods, deer fights man and man fights back, deer and man wrestle, horse throws man, gang of kids knock man down, man on horse chases train, men wrestle, truck dries to stop SUV on highway, and trucks chase one another; no sex scenes but protagonist leers at woman’s cleavage and rear end and brief talk about protagonist being a smooth operator with women; no nudity, but female cleavage; no alcohol; no smoking; and, protagonist says he hates children, children act like brats, children pull pranks (some of which are dangerous), children treat man’s property badly, and divorced father neglects his other children for his new family.
ARE WE THERE YET? is an aimed at families comedy starring Ice Cube. Mr. Cube plays a retired baseball player, Nick Persons, who owns a sports collectible store in a fancy commercial district in Portland, Oregon. Nick thinks he’s a smooth operator with the women, and he tries to land a date with Suzanne Kingston, a young, attractive divorcee played by Nia Long. Nick finds out that Suzanne has two young children, however, and children are not his favorite people. It also doesn’t take long for Suzanne to realize that Nick is not ready for commitment. Despite this, Nick and Suzanne become friends, and Nick helps her when her car breaks down for a few days.
When Suzanne’s job takes her to Vancouver, Canada during New Year’s Eve, Nick seizes his opportunity and offers to fly to Vancouver with her two children, Kevin, age 7, and Lindsey, age 11. What Nick doesn’t know is that Kevin and Lindsey think that no man is good enough for their mom. They do everything to make the trip to Vancouver a nightmare. They also secretly plan a side trip to Redmond, Oregon, where their beloved father now lives.
The setup for ARE WE THERE YET?, especially the movie’s funny first scene, is very good and has a lot of fun possibilities. The movie gets sidetracked, however, by Nick’s negative attitude about children and the subplot concerning his masculine swagger toward women. This subplot is not helped by Nick’s imaginary conversations with a little doll of baseball legend Satchel Page that sits on the dashboard of Nick’s new SUV. Also, the two children are much too mean to Nick and take risks that would put such children in real danger in the real world. Eventually, Nick eventually bonds with Suzanne’s two children, but the change between them does not always play smoothly. For example, just when he seems to be getting along better with the children, more bad things happen, and Nick is yelling at them again. Finally, the movie mentions in one scene the Christian church group that the children’s elderly babysitter attends, but in another scene the babysitter makes a pass at Nick, offering to take him to “Sin City.”
Despite these artistic and moral problems, the ultimate moral point to this movie is that both Nick and the children need to act more responsibly toward each other, with kindness and gentleness, and toward the mother as well. By doing this, Nick learns to transcend conflict and trouble, and find love.