August 22, 2003
A general rule of thumb about the stars of the long-running sitcom Friends is this: If they star in a film, it's probably doomed. Oh, there are exceptions (The Whole Nine Yards and Scream being the most notable of the bunch), but for whatever reason, when the individual actors try to cross over to the big screen, the movies fail.
What does that mean for Marci X, which stars Lisa Kudrow as a young Jewish woman who has to take over a hard-core rap label for her father? In and of itself, nothing. Unfortunately, there are a few other warning signs that would indicate this film might be a box office bomb. First off, there's the premise, which could be anywhere from mildly to massively offensive, depending how it's handled. Marci has to handle some negative publicity that befalls the label when a song called "Shoot Ya' Teacha" by rap artist Dr. Snatchcatcher (Damon Wayans) becomes a huge pop hit. There's even a right-wing senator (Christine Baranski) who is highly offended by Dr. Snatchcater's lyrics. The characters sound like caricatures, but it's entirely possible that trailers and commercials will show a different story. Time will tell.
Marci X is directed by Richard Benjamin, who also stars as Kudrow's father. He's had a pretty spotty record at the box office, including such films as Mermaids, The Money Pit, City Heat, and The Shrink is In. Screenwriter Paul Rudnick has delivered stuff like Addams Family Values, In & Out, and box office failure Isn't She Great. Unfortunately, none of these titles exactly inspire confidence, but then again, these guys might be due, right?
The film was originally slated for "sometime in 2002", but now that the studio has an official target date for Marci X to hit theaters, it does appear that it will at least be receiving a token release. Marketing and studio backing will be key to drawing viewers and determining success, and will go a long way toward indicating whether this is a quality product or just another formulaic comedy. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
Comparison films for Marci X
|In and Out
|Addams Family Values
|Romy and Michele's High School Reunion
|Isn't She Great?