"Insultingly Dumb TV Remake"
What You Need To Know:
Regrettably, Ralph and Norton use some underhanded techniques, including pretending to collect cash for charity. Audiences won’t take any cues from their dishonesty, however, because they’re clearly buffoons, and you can only laugh at their stupidity. The movie is one of the less offensive PG-13 movies in recent memory, with some light foul language, slapstick comedy and a little sexual innuendo. Anyway, the aimless and boring writing is sub-par and insults the audience’s intelligence. Most moviegoers probably will be turned off by this attempt to clone a classic.
(C, B, Pa, Cap, LL, V, S, A, D, MM) Light Christian moral viewpoint with prayer and a strong, positive statement on the importance of marriage, as well as a pagan disregard for morality as men scheme to make money, and pro-capitalist viewpoint; 14 obscenities (no ‘sh’ or ‘f’ words) and two profanities; slapstick violence includes man hit in head with pool ball, pratfalls, and men hanging off fire escape; light sexual innuendo between married couple, and man confesses that he accidentally saw his friend’s wife naked; beer; smoking; and, miscellaneous immorality includes dog racing, pick-pocketing, siphoning gas, men try to make money in underhanded ways, including pretending to collect money for charity and pretending to be blind, and conspicuous product placement.
THE HONEYMOONERS is a remake of the 50s television show in name only. Starring Cedric the Entertainer as Ralph Kramden, he is constantly trying to strike it rich with a variety of schemes. He comes up with a new twist on the fanny pack, introduces the pet cactus and tries to convert an old train car into a tourist bus. Along to help Ralph, or at least try to help, is Ed Norton, played by Mike Epps. Ralph and Norton have a lot of ups and downs as they come close to scoring a big payday but always foul it up at the last moment.
All the while, Ralph’s wife Alice wants to buy a house, but if he can’t get back some of their lost money, they’ll be stuck in their apartment forever. With Alice’s house on the line, Ralph has to worry not only about money but about restoring his wife’s faith in him. Ralph and Alice have a solid marriage, which reminds audiences that people can stay together even through stressful problems.
Unfortunately, Ralph and Norton use some underhanded techniques to make their money, including pretending to collect cash for charity. In the end, they turn to dog racing and try to enter a mutt into a big greyhound competition. It’s admirable that Ralph wants to support Alice in her pursuit of the American dream, but his means are dishonest. Audiences won’t take any cues from his dishonesty, however, because Ralph is clearly a buffoon, and each of his schemes goes awry. You can only laugh at his stupidity. His dishonesty is always folly.
The movie is one of the less offensive PG-13 movies in recent memory. Running only 85 minutes, it feels long anyway due to sub-par writing and a plot that lacks structure. A lot of the humor is aimed at African-Americans and might alienate other audiences. An UPN sitcom reference is the most telling sign.
What’s disappointing about THE HONEYMOONERS targeting African-Americans is that the movie talks down to its audience at every turn. It makes each joke as obvious as possible, and some of the plot contrivances are beyond ridiculous. The movie clearly thinks its audience is stupid. Further, one could argue that the depiction of African-Americans as simpleminded and money grubbing (yet warmhearted) is grossly offensive and harkens back to the pre-HONEYMOONERS era of minstrel shows.
In summation, a lot of people could go see THE HONEYMOONERS and not be too offended, but why would they want to do that?