“Guess Who” is a comedy directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan that touches a serious issue of race relations. The main characters Theresa (Zoe Saldana) and Simon (Ashton Kutcher) are coming to the 25th wedding anniversary of heroine’s parents. They are willing to announce about their engagement. The main trouble is that they belong to different races. Besides, Theresa’s father Percy (Bernie Mac) is a very strict and suspicious man – he does everything possible for the happiness of his family, and a white guy does not correspond to his vision of a proper son-in-law. Despite being light and funny, this movie depicts vital issues of tolerance, and the importance of being truthful and loyal.
What I liked in a movie is a depiction of romantic feelings. Theresa and Simon seem to be a perfect couple despite being of different races. They do not emphasize this difference and focus on advantages and pleasant moment they share. However, they have to face the society that does not approve such relations. It is never shown vividly, but the main heroes have to admit people’s hostile attitude to such relationships. Simon even quits his perspective and well-paid job when his boss insists that Simon has to break up with Theresa. Such tenacity, courage and loyalty can only marvel.
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The film is a romantic comedy, and there are a lot of humor and amusing situations. The movie shows that independently of the skin color people can find common language and be happy together if they are ready to open their hearts and free from suspicions and hostility. A lot of them arise because Simon wants to impress Percy and he is even ready to lie to win a bit of respect and recognition in Theresa’s family. Obviously, such way is not successful as all his lies are revealed, but this shows how much he wants to be with Theresa and impress her relatives. All in all, love overcomes all obstacles.
Concerning the main topic of the movie – race relations – Percy is the brightest character. In fact, he is rather hyperbolized, but demonstrates usual attitudes and fears concerning a “white stranger”. Theresa’s mother and younger sister seem to be more tolerant, though they are shocked and bewildered. Characters of the elder generation – Theresa’s father and grand father – tend to have more prejudices. They are trying to deny that, but cannot restrain their emotions. It is never spoken out what are precise reasons for such treatment to Simon – such attitude is taken for granted. White man is an alien in a black family. A younger sister even thanks to Theresa, as whatever she may do, nothing will surpass the fact of dating with a white man.
What I did not really enjoyed in the film is a blurred main idea. There are no concrete reasons why Theresa’s family do not like Simon – just because his color of skin? On the same time, they talk a lot about tolerance and equal attitude towards people of all nationalities. It seemed that through the film characters were forgetting and then again reminding that they were tolerant. Of course, the movie is rather predictable. There were no doubts that everything will come to a happy end in last five minutes. Sometimes Simon’s behavior was rather irritating – he was lying so much that had to get confused in his web of falsehood. That brought him in funny, but rather silly situations. I think that such a serious topic required more specific attitude and the humor could be more subtle.
This movie is worth seeing for vivacious acting, lambent humor and pleasant mood. It is useful as well for touching moral and social issues. People deserve happiness irrelevant of the race and color of skin.