Earlier this evening, I attended a press screening of Martin Lawrence's new film, Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. The premise is that Jenkins, a highly successful reality show host, returns home after 9 years in Hollywood for his parents' anniversary. However, since they are country folk (the word is synonymous with "ignorant" in Ebonics), they've never appreciated his prosperity. Jenkins arrives with his high maintenance fiancee and neglected son amidst a mess of a family reunion. There's Cedric The Entertainer as Clyde (Roscoe's orphaned cousin) who has always competed with him and who always won every competition between the two men. Mo'nique plays Roscoe's loud-mouthed, overweight, and over-sexed sassy sister lusting for her own cousin while Michael Duncan is Roscoe's backwoods sheriff brother with husky, overfed children. And, so forth.
But as unsophisticated as those film characters were, I was more astounded by the screening audience--a large group of mostly black folks who got free passes to the show. I counted no less than three baby strollers (why would anyone take a baby to a movie?) and at least a dozen children under the age of 15 (the film is PG-13). Is it responsible parenting to expose your kids to dogs having sex for pleasure? Further, cursing and partial nudity was a frequent occurrence. Sadly, at the end of the screening, the theater was totally littered with trash.
Looking back, I'm hard pressed to say which of the two groups was louder, cruder, or more foul-mouthed. I mean, that audience truly reflected the people up on that silver screen.
My question to you, then, is this: If a film reflects its audience and vice versa, who will come see Watermelon Sushi?
Your Hip Hapa,