WIRTB Review: The Honeymooners (2005)

Ok, now that we got our steaming pile of "Hayzus de Crisco, why the balls did that happen" out of the way with my Pluto Nash review, I figured I'd begin this "season" of WIRTB with a movie that everyone likes. I mean, it's fun and great to shit on horrible films, but I'm SOTB, dammit! We can look at Pulp Fiction and say it was an over-the-top, unnecessary shitstorm that was a horrible "urban" reboot of a classic sitcom made only to capitalize on the waning big budget marketabilities of Cedric the Entertainer, post-Barbershop and Mike Epps, post-Friday, but pre-beef with Kevin Hart.

...wayment, that's not Pulp Fiction at all. Well, now that I started, there's no need to stop. So, let's put on our thinking caps and see why the fuck did this shit happen. Let's look at 2005's The Honeymooners reboot to answer our favorite question: was it really that bad?

The Honeymooners '05 is one of those bad films that people tend to forget about, which, in some ways, makes it worse than Pluto Nash right off the bat. Potentially made to capitalize on the resurgence of Black-centric films (read: everything from Diary of a Mad Black Woman to Brown Sugar to the Wesley Jonathan stinker Crossover, possibly one of the worst basketball movies ever made) and audiences' need to get all nostalgic because reboots are still a thing, Honeymooners '05 follows the same formula as the '50s sitcom, except (surprise!) our main characters are Black now. Yay diversity. When they said Black Lives Mattered, I didn't think they meant Black Lives Matter enough to get them in shitty reboots. I din't think it meant "Black Lives Matter, until they share time with a damn greyhound. Then, all bets are off." But, what do I know?

Before this pieces goes even further down the political trail, let me reel it back in. Better yet, let's look at the trailer for the amazing genre-breaking film and see the greatness play out visually. Ok, if we just look at the trailer itself, we can see a couple things are already setting this movie up to fail from the jump. But, let's talk the movie itself.

First up, Mike Epps plays the idiot sidekick who ends up manning up to help solve the Big Bad Problem in the end (again). I know that Mike Epps was cool as Day Day in the last two Friday films, but, three years after Friday After Next, I'd expect some form of growth from his characters. 


Am I asking too much to see actors do something aside from the same shit for thirty movies? Do I expect too much from Mike Epps himself, since I'd think he wouldn't want to take these roles anymore and branch out as an artist? Am I putting too much blame on Paramount for greenlighting this turd? I don't know. But the point is this: Mike Epps as the idiot sidekick has limited mileage. And I like Mike Epps. "Snapback Pussy" is still laugh-out-loud funny. I just want him to give/get something, film-wise, that's a bit more developed than "oh, he comedian. He funny hurrdurrr."

Hilariously enough, ten-plus years later, we're getting Mike Epps as the idiot lead in films such as Meet the Blacks. So, I guess that someone, somewhere, at 4:47 in the morning wants to see Mike Epps be Day Day still. But, as groan-inducingly awful as Meet the Blacks was, at least Meet the Blacks had Paul Mooney in it for a second interacting with Epps. Honeymooners '05 doesn't even have that.

Now, the second problem (of many, but I'll keep it somewhat short) with this film is that it's a PG-13 film stuck in a PG rating.

What this means is that we, pretty much, get Foodfight!-caliber uncomfortable moments because why-the-hell-not. You have Cedric and Mike--oh, I mean, Ralph and Ed (Jackie Gleeson must be rolling in his grave)--talking about asses and making sexual innuendos in a movie that shares a rating with The LEGO Movie. We get a movie that takes the buddy comedy dynamic of Ralph and Ed and turns it up for "modern audiences" that's placed in the same category as Inside Out

What type of weird-ass Bizarro World logic are we working with? I mean, it's not bad enough that you've got to make this movie. But then to systematically lump this fuckshit in with kid flicks because it's not exactly PG-13 (even though it's pretty much PG-13)? Get the hell outta here. I feel the film could've worked a bit better if it wasn't stuck within the PG rating. Not by much, but there probably would've been at least one funny moment that wasn't ironically funny.

The third problem is, well, the movie itself. It doesn't work. In 2005, we're supposed to believe that Ralph and Ed, two Black men in New York, are going to go to a dog racing track for a get-rick-quick scheme involving dog racing? Well, I mean, I guess it's not dog fighting. But, had this movie came out maybe 18 months later, we probably would've gotten a couple Michael Vick jokes.

Additionally, the characters and the script are cut-outs in the worst way. Now, I love Regina Hall.

I used to have her KING magazine cover (above). She's a vastly underrated actress and is all sorts of smart and beautiful. Plus, she was born in D.C., so there's that DMV connection. However, it seems like the director, John Schultz, just told her "ok, remember how you were in Scary Movie? Well, be like that but keep it PG." And, expectedly, it falls hard. Gabrielle Union, as Alice, isn't much better. Overall, the writing feels less Honeymooners and more like Good Times-meets-Kenan & Kel (there's a breakdancing scene where Ralph and Ed try to make money from bustin' a move). 

And, by the end of it all, it's less "what the shit did I just watch" and more "why the fuck should I care?" Sure, everything's a bit better and lessons are learned, but...you're left worrying less about will they stick in the future and more about "did they even stick just now?!"

So, is Honeymooners '05 really that bad? Well, fundamentally, it works. It's just a bad combination of reigned-in over-the-topness mixed with a big heap of "meh." It was just unnecessary and pretty boring. And, as I've always said, you can have a shit film. But, to have a shit film that's also boring on top of its insane clusterfuckiness? It never works. And Honeymooners '05, while not the worst movie I've seen...it's still pretty damn bad.

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