×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Are We Done Yet?

"Are We Done Yet?" -- one of the more loaded movie titles in recent memory -- is supposedly based on "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," but has about as much to do with that frothy Cary Grant confection as a Yugo has to do with a 1948 Buick Roadster. Both are vehicles. Both eventually reach a destination.

With:
Nick Persons - Ice Cube Suzanne Persons - Nia Long Chuck Mitchell Jr. - John C. McGinley Lindsey Persons - Aleisha Allen Kevin Persons - Philip Daniel Bolden

“Are We Done Yet?” — one of the more loaded movie titles in recent memory — is supposedly based on “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House,” but has about as much to do with that frothy Cary Grant confection as a Yugo has to do with a 1948 Buick Roadster. Both are vehicles. Both eventually reach a destination. The question is, what kind of ride are you looking for? Fans of Ice Cube’s previous “Are We There Yet?” and his perpetually dyspeptic persona will pile in; others will head in the opposite direction, perhaps on the bus.

Director Steve Carr’s updated homeowning-as-nightmare comedy restores Cube to the role of Nick Persons, a man who apparently never heard the old line about making God laugh (How? “Make plans”).

Nick recently married Suzanne (Nia Long), a sweetheart with two children (Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden), who announces she’s pregnant. With twins. They’re all squeezed into Nick’s old bachelor flat, so they decide, since they have nothing else to do, to buy a house.

Not just a house — the most spectacular house in Vancouver, on a grassy lawn that seems to roll all the way to the Yukon Territories. Architecturally, however, it’s a basket case: dry rot, bad pipes, faulty wiring. Fortunately, local contractor Chuck Mitchell Jr. (John C. McGinley) — who also happens to be the local real-estate agent, and the building inspector (and a yoga instructor, and a Polynesian fire-dancer) — is on hand to help.

McGinley, currently committing a similar outrage against restraint in “Wild Hogs,” plays Chuck as so sweetly crazy, obnoxious, calculating and over-the-top that, in contrast with Nick’s ongoing sourness, he can’t help but steal the movie.

It is, however, petty larceny. Helmer Carr relies on the hoariest slapstick — how often can Ice Cube fall through a floor? The kids come off like little spokesmodels, or aliens, and if not for Long’s implausibly patient, good-natured Suzanne, there wouldn’t be a recognizably human character in the film (although the crew of blind plumbers is a good joke). For his part, McGinley seems to have just arrived from the Bizarro World version of “This Old House.”

Production is predictably slick; the animation sequences are gratuitous. “Are We Done Yet?” has less to do with “Mr. Blandings” than it does with Richard Benjamin’s 1986 “The Money Pit,” and as any homeowner would say after re-re-shingling the roof, haven’t we been there and done that?

Are We Done Yet?

Production: A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a Revolution Studios presentation of an RKO Pictures/Cube Vision production. Produced by Ted Hartley, Ice Cube, Matt Alvarez, Todd Garner. Executive producers, Heidi Santelli, Aaron Ray, Steve Carr, Derek Dauchy, Neil Machlis. Directed by Steve Carr. Screenplay, Hank Nelken, based on the motion picture "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House," directed by H.C. Potter/screenplay by Norman Panama, Melvin Frank.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Jack Green; editor, Craig P. Herring; music, Teddy Castellucci; music supervisor, Spring Aspers; production designer, Nina Ruscio; art director, Kelvin Humenny; set designers, Cheryl Kroll, Jim Ramsay, Michael Toby; set decorator, Peter Lando; costume designer, Jori Woodman; makeup, Rebeccah Delchambre; sound (Dolby Digital/SDDS/DTS), David Husby; supervising sound editor, Kelly Oxford; sound designers, Hector Gika, Karen Vassar; re-recording mixers, Jon Taylor, Christian P. Minkler; visual effects supervisor, Jon Cowley; visual effects, Technicolor Creative Services Vancouver; choreographer, Paul Becker; associate producers, Kevin Cornish, Ronald G. Muhammad; assistant director, Donald L. Sparks; casting, Lynne Carrow, Susan Brouse. Reviewed at Avco Cinemas, Los Angeles, March 28, 2007. MPAA Rating: PG. Running time: 92 MIN.

Cast: Nick Persons - Ice Cube Suzanne Persons - Nia Long Chuck Mitchell Jr. - John C. McGinley Lindsey Persons - Aleisha Allen Kevin Persons - Philip Daniel BoldenWith: Dan Joffre, Pedro Miguel Arce, Linda Kash, Hayes MacArthur.

More Scene

  • Dan Stevens

    'Legion' Star Dan Stevens Says His Character Would Fight Thanos, 'Wreak Havoc' in MCU

    Dan Stevens said his powerful, telepathic mutant Legion would do some serious damage if he ever crossed over from the eponymous FX series into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Legion would wreak havoc. He’d probably take on Thanos, let’s see that,” he told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of the trippy, mind-bending superhero series [...]

  • Anthony Anderson LADF

    Why Anthony Anderson and Billie Jean King are Giving Back with the Dodgers Foundation

    Celebrities and athletes came together at the Dodgers Foundation Blue Diamond Gala to celebrate the team’s commitment to supporting youth and to catch a glimpse of the event’s headliner: Bruno Mars. Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss were honored at the fifth annual event, which raised over $3 million for programs benefiting Los Angeles youth. [...]

  • Shia LaBeouf poses at the premiere

    Shia LaBeouf to Host Birthday Fundraiser for Slauson Rec. Theater Company

    Shia LaBeouf is celebrating his 33rd birthday by giving back. The actor, who turned 33 on June 11, will host a fundraising concert later this month for the Slauson Rec Theater Company, a 10-month-old free performing arts program he co-founded in downtown Los Angeles. The night will also include a preview of the Slauson Rec [...]

  • Awkwafina, Lulu Wang Celebrate New York

    Awkwafina Wants 'The Farewell' to Break Boundaries of Cultural Differences

    Family dysfunction is universal despite cultural differences. That’s what writer and director Lulu Wang wants audiences to take away from her film “The Farewell” starring Awkwafina. “This movie will teach us universality out of specificity. There’s something that we can all kind of relate to across cultures. There’s something we still have to learn about [...]

  • Elizabeth Debicki

    Elizabeth Debicki Talks About Being Supported by Other Women in Hollywood

    Elizabeth Debicki is looking to the future — which makes sense, since she was named Women in Film and Max Mara’s “Face of the Future” for 2019. “No pressure,” Debicki laughed when Variety asked the actress about the honor on the red carpet. “It means a great deal. I have always deeply respected the work [...]

  • Carla Gugino Jett

    How Carla Gugino Is Redefining the Anti-Hero in Cinemax's Crime Drama 'Jett'

    “This is like no character I’ve ever played,” Carla Gugino told Variety on the red carpet at the premiere of Cinemax’s “Jett” on Tuesday night. “I think television is filled with great roles for women, which is such a godsend these days. But the anti-hero — there’s still a double standard there.” In the new series, Gugino [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content