A review of “Are We There Yet?” by Jeanne Aufmuth

 

Stars: **

Rating: PG for mild language and bathroom humor

Run Time: 1 hour, 32 minutes

 

 

Nick Persons (Ice Cube) is a player, a king of bling and successful owner of a fine sports collectibles business.  A confirmed bachelor who only eats food with an expiration date and equates children with cockroaches (“but you can’t squish ‘em”), Nick is the ultimate man’s man.

When Nick gets a load of foxy wedding planner Suzanne Kingston (Nia Long) all bets are off.  Suzanne is Numero Uno on Nick’s list of projects until he finds out she’s a “breeder”, a single mom of two kids. But hot is hot and Nick’s got to get with it.

The kids turn a cold shoulder to Nick’s smooth moves, so courting the munchkins looks like the quickest way to Suzanne’s heart.  When Kevin and Lindsay’s (Philip Daniel Bolden and Aleisha Allen) wayward Dad poops out on Suzanne for a long weekend of child-minding, Nick gallantly comes to the rescue by agreeing to transport the juvenile demons to Suzanne’s New Year’s Eve business blowout.

A security snafu gets them thrown out of the airport and an errant doll malfunction nixes the train trip, so it’s Nick’s phat ride (big bad Lincoln Navigator with sparkling rims and 330 cubic inches of V8 power) to the rescue. Three-hundred miles from Portland to Vancouver that’s something akin to hell on earth.

This is the part where I admit to a serious yen for Ice Cube. The guy’s got genuine game and monumental charisma.  A saving grace when you consider the incessant bathroom humor, goofy gags alternating with Message Moments, and cliché-riddled plot meant to induce laughter and tears.

On top of which is the talking Satchel Paige bobblehead (alternately clever and cloying), a computer-generated deer attack (you had to be there but be glad you weren’t) and the Nick’s bromidic transformation from child-abhorrer to lifetime member of the mush-of-the-moment club.

Ridiculously trite but ultimately harmless.