Review

Man of the House Review

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Mar 02, 2005 | 7:28am EST

Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones) a dedicated Texas Ranger tracks down a key informant with the help of an ex-con turned preacher Percy Stevens (Cedric the Entertainer). But when the informant is unexpectedly murdered the hardheaded Sharp is assigned to protect the only witnesses to the crime--a quintet of University of Texas cheerleaders (Christina Milian Paula Garces Monica Keena Kelli Garner and Vanessa Ferlito). Roland has to go undercover moving in with the five uncontrollable co-eds while they await a trial date. Soon the contentious Sharp clashes with the bubbly outgoing cheerleaders getting in the way of their love lives and social agendas. But while Sharp gets on the girls' nerves he has even more difficulties getting close to his own teenage daughter Emma (Shannon Marie Woodward). Still through his experiences he learns a few lessons about how to gain her trust and love and finding something else he didn't expect--love.

Jones just can't quite pull off the hokey story. The actor continues to exhibit his same hard-nosed surly attitude that seems to follow him from film to film. But this time he is surrounded by elements that just don't complement his unsociability. While he is comical in some parts the words "cute" and "heartwarming" don't really apply to him especially when the vivacious and spirited girls are hovering around him trying very hard to make it work. Cedric the Entertainer (Barbershop) is hilarious and entertaining as always but with a movie this trite he can't be expected to save the whole film now can he?

When there are five credited writers on a film you know you're in trouble. Along with being over-the-top feel-good family mush Man of the House also doesn't add up. You're often left scratching your head over the plot and just when it starts to make sense it quickly loses you again. While movies often asks you to suspend your disbelief House almost goes unbearably too far. To top it off director Stephen Herek (Life or Something Like It) makes only a mediocre attempt at helming the proceedings. It's as if he too understands what kind of muck House truly is.

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