A Weekend with the Family full movie review - Make sure you don't spend one minute of your weekend with this family!
When you fall in love and you're considering marriage, meeting your significant other's family can be a very stressful experience.
You want to make a good first impression and you want this family that you plan to join to accept you. Your future happiness may depend on it. Yeah, that's some pressure right there ? even under the best of circumstances. Now imagine having that first meeting with no warning, an immediate misunderstanding with your mate's parents, a clash of cultures and then your family showing up unexpectedly to witness ? and complicate the whole thing. Sound like fun? Not for the characters in "A Weekend with the Family" (NR, 1:21) and, unfortunately, not for the audience either.
Travis Stanley (Marques Houston, who also co-wrote the film) is a hot young lawyer who is planning to propose to his dental hygienist girlfriend, Courtney Clancy (Karrueche Tran). She learns this when she discovers the ring in the house they share. She's excited about the impending proposal, but she's very concerned that neither one of them has met the other's family. Courtney decides to surprise Travis with a weekend getaway, but doesn't reveal that she's taking him to meet her parents at their vacation home. She also secretly calls his parents and invites them for the weekend. Two birds, one stone.
Travis is in for a weekend of surprises ? and he's not the only one. When Courtney drives up to her parents' house and tells Travis where they are, he goes into a minor panic, but gathers himself and tries to make the best of the situation. When he meets her father (Dorien Wilson), who is a judge, a secret comes out that reveals why Travis had been avoiding meeting Courtney's parents ? and casts doubt on his intentions. But the Clancys push forward with the purpose for their weekend gathering ? celebrating the Korean New Year, a holiday that's very important to Courtney's Korean mother (Suzanne Whang).
The family (including Travis) dresses and otherwise prepares for a very traditional Korean holiday meal, but then the doorbell rings and Travis is surprised to see his own family on the Clancy's doorstep. As everyone sits down to eat, Courtney's father and Travis' father begin to argue. The liberal, loud and uninhibited behavior of Travis' father (Clifton Powell) and mother (Wendy Raquel Robinson) doesn't sit well with the conservative, upper middle class judge. Courtney's mother tries to keep the peace, but the rest of the weekend involves tension and insults between the two families, putting a lot of stress on the relationship between Travis and Courtney. Meanwhile, there's a subplot of a budding romance between Travis' brother (Black Thomas) and Courtney's sister (Chantel Jeffries) and another subplot involving the judge running for state senate, a candidacy that is jeopardized by the ongoing inter-family fighting.
This movie feels like a low-rent retread of Ben Stiller's "Meet the Parents" (2000). Both films include a boyfriend meeting his prospective fiancé's family while spending a couple days at their house, plus dealing with her intimidating and suspicious father. Both films also include such details as the ruining of an irreplaceable family heirloom, a sporting event during which one family member gets hurt, someone being arrested and someone lying about his real name. Take all that and throw in the embarrassment that Stiller's character suffers when his fiancé meets HIS parents in the 2004 sequel "Meet the Fockers" and you'll see that there's not much in this film that's original? or funny? or otherwise entertaining.
"A Weekend with the Family" sadly squanders a premise with real potential. What could have been a fun and original Korean-American / African-American version of those two Ben Stiller movies instead settles for recycled plot points and random outrageous behavior masquerading as comedy. This plot is cheaper and has more holes in it than a box of generic macaroni and cheese. It's hard to imagine real people in situations like these acting the way these characters do. Exaggerated behaviors can be very funny, but not with these actors performing this script. I will say that Travis and Courtney, when they have the screen to themselves, make for a charming couple and several isolated dramatic moments actually work pretty well, but all that is more than overshadowed by many ridiculous situations, a lot of overacting, dumb dialog, embarrassing attempts at humor and rampant racially-insensitive gags. When choosing a movie for your day off, do everything you can NOT to spend a minute of your weekend with this family. "D"