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7.25 out of 10
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie
8.75 out of 10
Disney's Frozen movie
10.0 out of 10
Delivery Man movie
6.75 out of 10
8.25 out of 10

Wednesday, May 8, 2013



Fitting In

7.5 out of 10 | Rental

Rated: PG-13 Sexual content, drug material and language
Release Date: May 10, 2013
Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes

Director: Tina Gordon Chism
Writers: Tina Gordon Chism
Cast: Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier, S. Epatha Merkerson, Tyler James Williams, Melvin Van Peebles, Diahann Carroll, Kali Hawk, Kimrie Lewis-Davis, Ana Gasteyer

SYNOPSIS:  Sparks fly when Wade Walker crashes the Peeples annual reunion in the Hamptons to ask for their precious daughter Grace's hand in marriage.

REVIEW: Drumline screenwriter Tina Gordon Chism returns to writing duties with a new Tyler Perry produced flick. This time, Chism takes the reigns as the director of her own words, as well.

Wade Walker (Craig Robinson, Hot Tub Time Machine) is in love with reaching youngsters through silly songs, counseling them to be vocal and proud, and in love with a beautiful woman named Grace Peeples (Kerry Washingtion, Django Unchained). When Grace goes out to Sag Harbor in the Hamptons to be with her family for the annual Moby Dick day festivities, she leaves Wade home. Wanting to make a good impression and wanting to propose marriage to Grace, Wade takes its upon himself to venture out to the Peeples residence to meet the parents. When Wade realizes that Grace has never spoken to her parents about Wade or their relationship, Wade finds himself fighting an uphill battle for acceptance. Surrounded by Grace's well-bred rich parents and siblings, Wade finds out more than he bargained of the secrets the Peeples are keeping from each other. Whether Wade can hold his tongue against the backlash from Judge Peeples, or use it to his advantage, will have to be seen.

Craig Robinson, from The Office and Hot Tub Time Machine, takes on his first starring role in a feature film. His character plays to his strengths with music and singing, and being the overweight fish out of water. Robinson character goes straight from Manhattan Island to the well-to-do town of Sag Harbor a place mentioned in Herman Melville's classic tale of man against sea beast.

Peeples is a cross between Meet the Parents, The Proposal, and Jumping the Broom, focusing on the mismatch of a struggling or misunderstood boyfriend/fiancee dealing and struggling against the superior rich and well-to-do family of the woman he loves. With every family - rich or poor - there's always secrets kept and secrets revealed. David Alan Grier's (Dance Flick) Judge Virgil Peeples is a man to be feared and loved by his family. But in most of the cases fear comes first. Everyone tiptoes around Virgil, creating chaos and dysfunction with both his wife and kids. From wife Daphne (S. Epatha Merkerson, Lincoln) recovering from alcohol and 'herbs', to klepto son Simon (Tyler James Williams, Go On), to sister Gloria (Kali Hawk, Bridesmaids) concerned about revealing her sexual orientation, the Peeple's family as plenty to worry about beyond the problems of Wade Walker brings to their home.

The story is a romantic comedy, although most of the comedy comes from Craig Robinson's physicality and facial expressions, Williams' insistence on being called Sy instead of Simon and his perchance for bedroom rapper as an act of rebellion against his parents, and Wade's brother Chris (Malcolm Barrett, Larry Crowne) brings the 'street' to the harbor.

Peeples is a tamer and lighter version of Meet the Parents. The physical comedy is silly, the situations not too outlandish, and the storyline mostly above board. Robinson shows that he can carry the film as the leading man facing off against David Alan Grier, although it helps to have a decent supporting cast around you.

On a technical note, some of the camerawork was too soft at times, the camera seemingly out of focus for the wrong reasons. And strange cuts to black seemed a few seconds too long, with no consistency to other fades that occur throughout the story. Somewhere in an editing bay a little more fine-tuning was needed.

Peeples entertains in a lighthearted way with a silly story. Not as strong as other films in the genre, It still will appeal to some who want something to chuckle at.

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