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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 2008
I love pretty much anything that Mo'nique is in and anything Martin is in. To see them here together was a real treat. This movie is fun and enjoyable and sure it's corny and silly in some parts, but you can't take it too seriously. The cast is great (Nicole Ari Parker, James Earl Jones, Cedric the Entertainer, Joy Bryant etc) and the story fun.
Roscoe has moved across the country to get away from his family and is a talk show host out in LA. He goes back home to visit when it's his parents' 50th anniversary. It's there that we see exactly how zany his family really are and why he left in the first place. It's hilarious and yet we do also see him accept his family as they are too.
It's not Oscar material for sure, but it's a great movie for light entertainment with a terrific cast that will surely make you laugh. It's enjoyable and I really liked this one.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2008
RJ Stevens (Martin Lawrence) is the host of an irreverent and raunchy talk show in the sun-soaked state of California, and is engaged to "Survivor" contestant Bianca Kittles (Joy Bryant). One day, he recieves a phone call from his old parents (Margaret Avery, James Earl Jones), who ask him to come over for their 50th wedding anniversary. With them and his son Jamaal (Damani Roberts) goading him to go, he takes his clan to the Deep South, where old wounds are open, and a crush from the past (Nicole Ari Parker) returns to make RJ question if his glamorous life defines who he is.

I think "Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins" can be compared to Amanda Bynes films: they're really good, but they'll probably appeal to certain audiences and turn off the rest. It's also Martin Lawrence still looking for that "Get Out of Jail" card to apologize for the recent crap he shoved in our faces since the disastrous "Big Momma's House 2". And Malcolm D. Lee, brother of Spike Lee and the birth parent of the blaxploitation spoof/homage "Undercover Brother", is behind the lens. For me, I find the film to be immensely entertaining in a year that began with a couple of crappy films (J-horror films) and underwhelmingly overlooked gems (the new Rambo). And I can always live with that.

The film has been compared to the works of Tyler Perry, someone who makes the most headache-inducing films that African-Americans don't deserve, but see anyway. Here, Lee is looking to really go for broke with an impressive ensemble of comedians including Mike Epps (underwhelmingly underrated), Cedric the Entertainer (coming off the worst film of last year, "Code Name: The Cleaner"), and Mo'Nique (I won't go any further), while bringing in already successful actors like Michael Clarke Duncan (further sharpening his comedy skills post-"Talledega Nights" - who could forget the outtakes!), Margaret Avery (another student of the Ruby Dee school for lovable grandmothers) and James Earl Jones (always a pleasant appearance) to round out the cast.

With that list, how does the film fare? Oh, it's a funny one. While not a gut-buster (some scenes - including a race between RJ and Clyde - seem to drag on), there are a slew of funny scenes. Lee still hones his satirical vision from "UB", and sends up the talk circuit with a no-good cheater (newcomer - I think - Affion Crockett). When he moves on to the meat and bones of the film - the family reunion/anniversary - the film becomes a mixture of Adam Sandler-type schenanigans and urban sitcom wisecracks. That's not to say it's unfunny. You can thank scene stealers like Mo'Nique and Mike Epps for that job (ugh, the bathroom scene is priceless).

It all boils down to Lawrence, however. Still looking to get critics back on his graces after being dissed during the "Black Knight"-"BMH2" era, the comic actor decides to tone it down and play a humbled loser. That allows him to achieve good chemistry between all his co-stars, including a welcome appearance from Nicole Ari Parker, someone who hasn't been seen since the Anthony Anderson disaster, "King's Ransom" (three years were worth it, I might add).

The only problem with the film is its need to grow a heart while being a jovial walk in the park. It's no surprise, since Lee tried his hand at a coming-of-age film ("Roll Bounce"), but someone should've gave him a copy of "Old School", which maintained its funny bone the whole way through. It sort of causes "Welcome Home" to trip a bit, but doesn't derail the film completely. Compared to the recent crop of cruddy urban films released before, this brings back a bit of scrappy charm and respect that black or white audiences can enjoy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2008
To say awesome would be understating how great a comedy this is.It was so good my wife and I wanted to see it again the same day. Can't wait for it to come out on DVD. This movie should be included in everybody's movie collection, It's that good.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2008
To the above reviewer, yes the film may not be great, and you may not think it was funny or whatever, but your comparing it to a movie that has nothing in common with this film. Dan In Real Life???? Are you serious? Martin Lawrence along with several other African American comedians have always made films like this, they have nothing to do with Romance, and warm family comedy. They are suppose to relate to a certain audience and that is it. If you expect too much from an actor, or a trailer....... You will be dissapointed every time. I agree Martin has lost his edge a bit, but he has been doing it for a long time now, and I believe he will be just fine in years to come. If you are a Martin fan, buy the movie, if not do not buy it, it is not going to appeal to you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2009
I think this movie is fantastic. I laughed the whole way through. I can't believe that it got even 1 bad review. Oh well, can't please everyone, right?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2009
Talk-show sensation RJ Stevens left behind his modest Southern upbringing and family name to transform into a self-help guru dispensing his "Team of Me" philosophy to millions of adoring fans. With a reality-TV-star fiancee and money to burn, there's no piece of the Hollywood dream RJ hasn't achieved. After his parents request that he come home for their 50th wedding anniversary, the TV host packs up his 10-year-old son and diva bride-to-be and heads back to Georgia. It's a chance to prove to his family that he's no longer the awkward kid they relentlessly picked on. At least, that's the plan. But when his crazy, lovable family calls him on his big-city attitude and challenges him at every turn, RJ is forced to take a hard look at the man he's become. He may be a superstar in L.A., but he's just one of the guys in Dry Springs. I like Martin Lawrence movies. This movies is very funny and entertaining. I really enjoyed watching it, could'nt stop laughing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2008
When Roscoe is forced to go home for his parent's 50th anniversary he finds his family still treats him like the goofball he once was. Even with his trophy girlfriend, he gets no respect, least of all from his brothers and sisters and cousin.

I found this film amusing. I particularly liked Mo'Nique as his sister, and the scenes of his relatives on his television show in the credits. There were some cliche elements I could've done without such as the country mouse cliche (Roscoe became a big star, becomes egotistical materialistic etc.) Also the glories of finding true love with your high school sweetheart. *Yawns* These tropes are done to death in films.

There is a little grossness, mostly in the forms of fake and kind of silly dog fornication. (Between his girlfriend's pomeranian and a golden retriever), and suggestive themes. Not for small kids, but teens have probably seen worse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
The dvd showed up with clearly visable deep scratches embedded within it. The seller should have at least looked at the product before selling it. The dvd doesn't play well at all. Scenes are totally skipped and it freezes throughout the entire movie. Not good at all.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 18, 2008
"Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins," one of the better recent efforts from the funny wing of Black Hollywood. (It is certainly better than "First Sunday.") The film is written and directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who directed but did not write the hilarious 2002 film "Undercover Brother." Lee definitely has some jokes in this one--especially involving canine love--but it seems likely that the film's comedic quartet offered some choice jokes to the script and fed off of each other, upping the comedic ante as they went along.

Roscoe (Martin Lawrence), is a talk show host who is depicted as a decent but ambitious man who revels in the celebrity life he shares with his fiancé, Bianca Kittles (Joy Bryant). As a winner of the television show, "Survival," Bianca has transferred all the driven, maniacal aspects of her personality needed for that win to her day-to-day life. In a very L.A. sort of way, not seen on screen since perhaps Robin Givens played several roles as a Black man eater, Bianca keeps her world on a tight leash of accomplishment. She knows exactly what she wants, how she is going to get it and what is clearly unacceptable in her realm of the high life.

Sure, Bianca's depiction is extreme--women are sort of thrown under the bus in this one--but the men don't come off looking much better. Martin Lawrence, Mike Epps and Cedric the Entertainer compete with Mo'Nique to be the sorriest and funniest of them all when they all gather in the South for a wedding anniversary celebration for Roscoe's parents. Down home, the successful Roscoe finds himself at the center of the, by now, stock story of the rich Black relative who comes home and has to deal with his relatives who are either ghetto (Mo'Nique), country (Cedric the Entertainer), broke and/or walking around with a loose screw (Mike Epps). The ways that the dysfunctional rich fit perfectly into this odd stew help to make this film funny in surprising ways. Another thing that works is the individual funny that each comedian brings to their role.

The final element that "Roscoe" has going for it is the fact that, unlike some movies, its storyline is not laughable. It actually makes sense and, despite the comedy, the script makes all the characters very human--flawed, but human. There is even some romance thrown into the mix that allows Nicole Ari Parker to once again play the role of the sweetheart. At the corners of ruckus--the obstacle course competitions, the predictable slapstick and overwrought throw-downs--the movie sets aside a few minutes to showcase rowdy exchanges among the veteran comics, passed through a PG-13 filter. Recommend to fans of the likes of this genre.
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on January 29, 2009
I must say that Martin Lawrence has grown into a respectable comedian. I have always been a Martin fan since before his television show. I was always disappointed at some of the past roles he chose that made light of being ignorant, silly or just downright offensive to blacks. Lately as Martin's grown older he's taking more fulfilling, family comedies that not only have a plot but a lot of fun and a lot of heart.

Saying that, I found Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins a straight delight. The film was a beautiful comedy that anyone can appreciate. My complaint was that there were a few dead spots and the storyline wasn't original. Martin's films all seem to follow the same line, he's with one woman but realizes he's never gotten over the woman from his past. Yet, the laughs and characters of this movie ultimately saved what what could have been a very cliche'd, boring and predictable plot.

As I'm writing this review I haven't even finished the movie but I've seen enough of it to appreciate and recommend to anyone who loves a good, down home, Southern comedy.

Kudos to Martin Lawrence for growing up into a fine and respectable comedian! I wouldn't mind a sequel!

Stacy-Deanne (Novelist)
Author of "Everlasting" and "Melody"
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