Film Openings

Week of March 5, 2003

Bringing Down the House. Adam Shankman. Internet dating is a mainstream trend now, so behold, a bland new Disney comedy uses it as a jumping-off point. Workaholic lawyer Peter (Steve Martin) thinks he's courting a slender female legal eagle online, but when she turns out to be a con named Charlene (Queen Latifah), wackiness ensues. Do the mismatched twosome start realizing that beauty is more than skin deep, and that love can conquer all? Not exactly. Interracial dating may no longer be taboo onscreen, but dating an overweight woman is still considered a joke. Charlene instead gets paired up with Eugene Levy, who's portrayed as a freak for being attracted to her. Peter and Charlene do of course learn Valuable Life Lessons, but safe ones: He helps her try to prove she was framed, and she helps him become less uptight so his estranged wife will like him again. Director Adam Shankman (The Wedding Planner) has no sense of pace or comedic timing; Martin's stint hosting the Oscars was more entertaining than this. Opens Friday, March 7, at multiple locations. (Luke Y. Thompson)

City of God. Fernando Meirelles, Katia Lund. Opens Friday, March 7, at the Tivoli. Reviewed this issue.

Shanghai Ghetto. Dana Janklowicz-Mann, Amir Mann. Opens Friday, March 7, at the Tivoli. Reviewed this issue.

Tears of the Sun. Antoine Fuqua. Opens Friday, March 7, at multiple locations. Reviewed this issue.

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