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)
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