Making the Grades
The days of minstrel shows when white entertainers covered their faces with burnt cork may be long over. But now, the tables are turned. In White Chicks, two black men don latex face masks, body paint and other fabricated female body parts in order to impersonate a couple of rich white socialites.
Trouble is, the premise falters from the get go.
When the FBI uncovers a plot to kidnap hotel heiresses Brittany (Maitland Ward) and Tiffany (Anne Dudek) Wilson, they set up an interception operation. Officers Kevin (Shawn Wayans) and Marcus (Marlon Wayans) Copeland, who bungled a drug raid, are given a chance to redeem themselves by driving the sisters from the airport to Hampton. But an accident leaves the girls with facial abrasions and they refuse to go to the resort.
Worried about losing their jobs if the sting doesn't go as planned, the two escorts dress up as the sisters and head to the party themselves.
The script trips up by assuming anyone could mistake the agents for the waif-like girls they've replaced. Even more unlikely, they are able to pass themselves off to the Wilson's three best friends while wearing bikinis. Although they've obviously grown taller and their faces appear to have had one too many Botox injections, their cover-up also fools Megan (Brittany Daniel) and Heather (Jaime King) Vandergeld, the trend setting sisters the girls have a vicious rivalry with at the local club.
Dressed in drag, the two men get in on sleepovers, gab sessions and shopping sprees. Marcus also finds himself on the auction block at the community's archaic fundraising event where women are sold as dates to the highest bidder. Keeping his identity a secret becomes a real challenge when a sexually aggressive basketball player (Terry Crews) buys him, in order to cuddle and canoodle with the rich heiress. Along the way, the agents acquire insight into the female perspective on relationships. And in the guise of two girls, they also pass along some advice on how guys see things.
Unfortunately for families, the plot is thickened with profanities, sexual innuendo and brief drug references. Frank and descriptive dialogue about sexual fantasies and a misunderstood telephone conversation may also leave parents with plenty of explaining to do. Despite the air of social civility that exists where the rich folks gather, the exclusive neighborhood is troubled with fistfights and gunshots that result in two chest wounds. And the girls, who are vying for their picture on the front cover of the Hampton's magazine, resort to nasty squabbles and mean-spirited pranks.
For family audiences, leaving these chicks in the coop might be the best option yet.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about White Chicks.
Why is Marcus’ wife so suspicious? How do misunderstandings grow out of proportion when people fail to communicate? What could they have done differently in their relationship?
What does the dressing room scene say about the way women equate their body image with their dress size? Are there other important things to consider when evaluating self worth?