The Honeymooners parents guide

The Honeymooners Parent Review

Overall C

Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps reprise the roles of Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton in this new millennium version of the popular 50s sitcom. But can this movie take these politically incorrect characters and get them into step with today's generation?

Violence C+
Sexual Content B-
Profanity B
Substance Use C+

The Honeymooners is rated PG-13 for some innuendo and rude humor.

Movie Review

It's hard to make a hero out of Ralph Kramden. Like his sitcom predecessor, the man is loud, obnoxious and self-obsessed. Even with some tweaking, it's tough to get this politically incorrect character in step with today's generation.

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In this new millennium version, Ralph (Cedric the Entertainer), is a man with big dreams--or at least big schemes, with grander ambitions than his job as a New York City bus driver. Determined to get rich quick, he has a ton of ideas on how to turn a fast buck, all of which come with a price.

Ralph's friend and upstairs neighbor, Ed Norton (Mike Epps), is usually in on the plan as well. For the last six years the men have been pursuing one hair-brained notion after another. Now their wives, Alice (Gabrielle Union) and Trixie (Regina Hall), have come across a little duplex in the neighborhood that is up for sale. For the girls, it's the perfect arrangement. The Kramdens can live downstairs and the Nortons upstairs. However, Alice doesn't realize Ralph has squandered their savings and left them penniless.

With two weeks to come up with the down payment, Ralph hits the streets and tries to make some ready cash. Begging, busking and buying lottery tickets all prove fruitless. But on the way home, he and his pal discover an abandoned greyhound dog in a dumpster.

With dollar signs dancing before their eyes, the two of them head off to the racetrack to sign up Iggy for the next big event. However, like their schemes before, they soon realize being a dog owner comes with some hidden costs. Their new trainer, Dodge (John Leguizamo), is more of a hustler than a handler, and every time they turn around there is an additional charge. Still, with the race only hours away, the men are sure they are headed for dog heaven.

Although the movie tries to convince us Ralph's motives are born out of concern for his wife, it's much more likely he's just afraid of being busted. His lack of business sense also makes it hard to believe he could strike it big--even if opportunity smacked him in the face.

With mild profanities, some incidental violence and occasional drug references, The Honeymooners comes in on the lighter side of many PG-13 films. Even Ralph's trademark comment about sending Alice "to the moon" has been modified; this time it's less abusive and more sexual sounding. But many of Ralph's moneymaking means are ill-advised, if not outright illegal. As well, his total lack of honesty with his wife hurts their relationship, as does his constant bickering with his mother-in-law (Carol Woods).

Stuck in a tiny apartment right next to the tracks, it's not hard to see why Ralph wants a better life. But after a while, hanging out with this transportation agent feels more like a jail sentence than a honeymoon.

Starring Cedric the Entertainer, Mike Epps, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall. Running time: 90 minutes. Theatrical release June 7, 2005. Updated

The Honeymooners Parents Guide

Ralph’s character has been toned down from the earlier sitcom version in which he threatened to hit his wife, week after week. However, he still has an anger management problem. How is that reflected in the way he treats Norton and his mother-in-law? What kinds of relationship jokes did the scriptwriters feel were still acceptable in today’s “politically correct” environment?

Dodge doesn’t want to be “profiled” by Ralph and Norton. What does he mean? How does his character fit the stereotypical hustler?