White Chicks is so dumb I kind of have to laugh at it. After directing mostly parody movies, Keenen Ivory Wayans returned to straightforward comedy. Even though White Chicks is basically a more lowbrow version of Some Like it Hot. Except this time it’s black guys posing as white chicks. Whiteface isn’t as controversial as blackface, but I still doubt a movie like this would be made today. I’ve known about White Chicks for a long time since most of my generation has been quoting it for years. Despite gaining a cult following, I knew I’d be cringing just as much as laughing. Shawn Wayans and Marlon Wayans play bumbling FBI brothers Kevin and Marcus. People talk about the whiteface, but there is an earlier scene of them as Mexican stereotypes. When a drug bust goes wrong, Kevin and Marcus volunteer to hide wealthy socialites Brittany and Tiffany.
They’re not in the movie much, but Anne Dudek and future pornstar Maitland Ward are perfectly vapid stereotypes. When the Wilson sisters refuse to go to the Hamptons, the obvious solution is to become shallow valley girls themselves. The makeup is like totally hideous and unconvincing, but everyone in the movie is an idiot who falls for it. Like they’re valley girl best friends Karen, Lisa, and Tori. Busy Phillips has a romantic subplot, Jennifer Carpenter breaks down in a changing room, and Jessica Cauffiel gets them places. The most memorable moments are “Brittany” and “Tiffany” barely hiding the fact that they’re black FBI agents. They tell “yo mama” jokes, sing an uncensored rap song, and bust a move on the dance floor.
The early 2000’s soundtrack has all my favorites, but “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton is the signature song. Terry Crews unironically singing the song is probably the best scene. Similar to Some Like it Hot, Crews is an agressive black athlete who lusts after white women. Marcus ends up being the unlucky girl. The dinner scene and toilet scene are as crude as the movie gets. Another similarity is Kevin posing as a wealthy man in order to impress a hot reporter. The main difference is Marcus having a wife who thinks he’s having an affair. All the FBI stuff plays out in the background with Frankie Faison as the chief and Lochlyn Munro and Eddie Velez as pervy agents. Jaime King and Brittany Daniel play petty rivals to the sisters, but really it’s John Heard who targets them at a fashion show. As long as the ridiculous premise doesn’t bother you, White Chicks could be a fun time.
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I was in High School when this came out, and I remember even back then thinking how ultra ridiculous the film looked. For me it was more on the lines of ‘who’s honestly gonna buy those disguises on them?’ I don’t wanna say that this was beneath the Wayans Brothers’ talents as they were trying their best to pay homage to Some Like It Hot (a long time favorite of mine), but it felt like they missed the mark quite a bit.
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Pretty ridiculous even when I was a kid.
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