The Honeymooners (2005) / Comedy
MPAA Rated: PG-13 for crude humor and sexual innuendo
Running Time: 85 min.
Cast: Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall, Eric Stoltz, John Leguizamo, Jon Polito, Carol Woods
Director: John Schultz
Screenplay: Barry W. Blaustein, Danny Jacobson, Don Rhymer, David Sheffield
Review published June 13, 2005
"The Honeymooners" television show was a legend in its own time, setting the pattern for many situation comedies to come, some of them virtual copies of the formula. The Honeymooners movie is directly based on that television show, but it's further removed from the spirit of its source material than many of its imitators. It's also far less funny as well.
The only real correlation between the movie and television show are the names and occupations of the central characters, and to some degree, their physicality. The racial make-up has changed from Caucasian to African-American, although outside of a more hip soundtrack, there probably wouldn't have been much of a difference with an all-white cast.
It's usually not a good sign for an 85-minute comedy to have four screenwriters credited, and it definitely shows here, especially with such idiotic ideas for the central plot. I won't bore you with a heavily detailed plot explanation, mostly because at a certain point I lost the ability to pay close attention to all of the convoluted shenanigans. Basically, it involves bus driver and wanna-be entrepreneur Ralph Kramden (Cedric the Entertainer, Be Cool) trying a bunch of "get rich quick" schemes, doing what he can to get his wife Alice (Gabrielle Union, Breakin' All the Rules) the house she so desperately desires. Trying to help is sewer worker and upstairs neighbor Ed Norton (Mike Epps, The Fighting Temptations) and his wife Trixie (Regina Hall, King's Ransom). The subplots are many, including a slimy real estate developer who might take their homes away (Stoltz, The Butterfly Effect), a dog race, an old train car found in the sewer, and Alice's meddlesome mother.
With so many writers and subsequent subplots, one gets the feeling that there were constant revisions as to which direction the creators of The Honeymooners wanted to go with the material. Based on the outcome, it would seem that all of the wrong turns were taken, and as the story gets more complicated, the laughs are all but completely sucked out of the equation. As game as the talented performers are, this is one truly unfunny movie.
The only thing keeping this from sinking right to the bottom of the movie barrel is the fact that they were able to limit this fiasco to just 85 minutes in length. This is one union that proves to be over before the honeymoon ever had a chance to begin.
©2005 Vince Leo