Par gave its bigscreen adaptation of "The Honeymooners" a family friendly makeover for its DVD release, trimming saucier comments in pursuit of a PG rating -- and, the studio hopes, greater sales.
Par gave its bigscreen adaptation of “The Honeymooners” a family friendly makeover for its DVD release, trimming saucier comments in pursuit of a PG rating — and, the studio hopes, greater sales. But you won’t hear about these changes from helmer John Schultz and stars Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps in their commentary, for it was recorded before the film was released to disappointing B.O. returns.While reverential to the original, the trio makes it clear the adaptation was never intended to win the hearts and minds of to-the-moon Jackie Gleason fans. In the “Hanging With the Honeymooners” bonus feature, producer David T. Friendly says an all-black “Honeymooners” wasn’t even the initial intention, but when it came to picking a modern-day Ralph Kramden, Cedric the Entertainer was the obvious choice, and the rest just followed. It’s hard to argue about Cedric. Nobody is ever a filmmaker’s second choice in Hollywood, of course, but it’s difficult to imagine any current performer fitting the old bus driver’s uniform better. All the principals talk about their feelings for the venerable CBS show and the new film. The DVD also includes a series of extended and alternate scenes, and some of the excised remarks — mostly drug or sex innuendo — manage to slip in there. It’s during the commentary that one really gets an insight into the making of the movie, which was shot in both Dublin and New York City. Well-versed in its structure, formula and nuances, the three filmmakers provide an entertaining play-by-play so affectionate and informative it might have won over Gleason himself.