Are We There Yet?
Ice Cube, Nia Long, Jay Mohr
Directed by Brian Levant
Columbia Pictures 2005
Sony Pictures Home Video 2007
95 minutes

I really was not expecting much from Are We There Yet? I passed when I saw it at the video store. Re-released as a tie-in for Are We Done Yet? the follow-up movie, it became something Sony Pictures Home Entertainment sent our way for review. Mea culpa: Are We There Yet?  is a great family comedy DVD that opens with a very funny scene: A new beau is coming to court Suzanne Kingston (the lovely Nia Long) but gets attacked Mouse Trap style by her two kids before he can make it do the door. They more than meet their match however when sports memorabilia store owner Nick Persons (Ice Cube) falls in love with their mom.

One of the reasons this family comedy works is it cuts to the chase. There is a quick series of shots to explain Suzanne and Nick are dating and the setup to get the Ice Cube characters and the potential boyfriend hating kids together in intelligent. When something goes wrong with Suzanne’s holidays plans Nick volunteers to help. The plan is for Nick to drop the kids off at the airport so they can join their mom in Vancouver. When planes and trains fail so you know they are going to end up in Nick’s brand new really cool wheels together for a really, really long drive.

Just when things seemed to be going well, Nick’s business partner reminds them that if the kids hate him the momma won’t date him. This is when the kids and the movie get really creative. It piles on original creative mishap after creative mishap as the kids test Ice Cube’s resilience and ability to match wits with two very determined kids.

The kids’ dream and reason they are so hard on their mom’s potential boyfriend crashes and the Ice Cube character has to pick up the pieces. This time the kids and Nick band together but circumstances, including a huge kids’ party where Nick becomes the entertainment, conspire against them. I could have done without the musical number though, the only weak and forced moment in Are We There Yet?

Are We There Yet? is a fun, intelligent comedy the kids will enjoy and that adults will not feel they are sitting through just to keep the kids company. It is almost the Plane, Trains, and Automobiles for this generation.


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