Making the Grades
What's up with this blond boy? Or should I say "Whassup?" Adopting the lingo, attire and gestures of the ghetto, Brad Gluckman (Jamie Kennedy) is a wealthy kid from an exclusive Malibu neighborhood. But he thinks of himself as a black brother trapped in a white body -- a "gangsta" in one of America's most elite locales.
Unfortunately his behavior is casting a dark shadow on his father's plan to be California's next governor. While Bill Gluckman's (Ryan O'Neal) perfect, camera-friendly wife (Bo Derek) and ideal little daughter stand by his side on the election platform, his son "B-Rad" proves to be a political nightmare, showing up in all the wrong places at all the wrong times.
Afraid that Brad is costing them important votes, Gluckman's campaign manager Tom (Blair Underwood), and his assistants take drastic measures to corral this rapper wanna-be. Believing that a good shot of reality is the best antidote for their ailment, Tom hires two local actors to play the part of hoodlums. Their job is to kidnap the hip-hopper, take him to the heart of the city and give him a wake up call about life on the street.
But the Julliard-trained Sean (Taye Diggs) and his Pasadena Playhouse pal P.J. (Anthony Anderson) are about as far from real life hood dwellers as they come. Brushing up on street jargon, they focus on finding their internal motivation for their new characters. Luckily the election committee offers them a healthy reimbursement that helps prompt them. Enlisting the support of their friend Shondra (Regina Hall) from Compton, they stage a carjacking and haul the "poser" off for some intense debriefing.
However, their assignment to return him "unharmed and white" is derailed when this over privileged youth runs into a real thug (Damien Dante Wayans) who doesn't want B-Rad moving in on his territory.
Taking a satirical jab at everyone from imitators to politicians, Malibu's Most Wanted stages some comedic moments on the advantaged avenues of this sunny resort town. But despite the brief moments of domestic enlightenment and paternal reconciliation, family viewers will find the storyline punctured with profanities and crass sexual innuendos. Shoot-outs on the streets, a grocery store robbery, and threats with weapons are examples of the movie's violence content.
While B-Rad may be all for the attitude of "don't be hatin'," this is one flick most families will loathe more than love.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Malibu’s Most Wanted (2003).
How can the dress, language and food of specific groups be mimicked? What examples of different ethnic or cultural influences can you find in your home or community?
How did Brad’s absent parents sway his upbringing? What other factors impacted his life? Do you believe that Brad was portraying his “real” self?
How did Gluckman’s campaign committee “spin” disastrous events to their advantage? What are examples of media “spins” in today’s news?