Mr. Persons Builds His Dream House
Plain and simple "Are We Done Yet?" is a children's movie, it is all about simple often stupid humour which children will enjoy with Ice Cube playing the harassed step-dad plagued by a quackers contractor. Now from adults point of view it is poor, the jokes are rarely funny and it feels like a weak cross between "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and "Father of the Bride II" with a lot more attitude. But the simple humour, Nick being harassed by the always chirpy Chuck is enough to amuse children, not families just children.
So Nick (Ice Cube) has married Suzanne (Nia Long) and not only become step-dad to Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Bolden) but sold his sports shop to start a sports magazine from their small apartment. But with news that Suzanne is expecting twins they decided to move to a large home in the country shown to them by Chuck (John C. McGinley) the local realtor, contractor, midwife, city inspector and basically jack of all trades. But having brought the house they soon discover it is a wreck and are forced to hire Chuck and his crew to renovate the place pushing Nick's patience to the limit.
I mentioned "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" earlier and in fact "Are We Done Yet?" is partly built around the story of the Cary Grant movie but it most certainly isn't a remake. It also draws in elements of other movies and has a touch of "Father of the Bride II" about it as Suzanne is pregnant but also in humour level because it is that simple comedy of a stressed husband and father pushed to the limit. But typically it has attitude as so many modern children's comedies do, with Nick getting angrier and angrier at Chuck till things go wrong and he has a whole lot of making up to do. Basically from a storyline point of view "Are We Done Yet?" is seriously unoriginal.
But then you have to ask yourself how many children, who I feel this movie is made for, will have watched or even heard of "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House" and I would bet some have never seen "Father of the Bride II" either. As such the lack of originality isn't an issue and whilst the humour failed to make me laugh as an adult it is the simplistic comedy which children will enjoy with some slapstick and even a talking racoon. Yes that really was a bad addition from an adults point of view but it is what children like. So whilst not great comedy it is target market orientated.
And as for the acting well Ice Cube gives us Steve Martin but with attitude, that is the character of Nick this time around as he plays the stressed out father. The thing is that whilst "Are We Done Yet?" sees Ice Cube reunited with Nia Long, Philip Bolden and Aleisha Allen the star of this sequel is John C. McGinley as Chuck. McGinley delivers the majority of the laughs as the always happy Chuck and is such a bundle of energy that he is the spark of the movie which without him would have been slow and painful.
What this all boils down to is that "Are We Done Yet?" is not a great movie and is not much more than a collection of ideas, characters and elements from other movies. But for its target audience it works delivering the simple, inoffensive laughs which will keep them entertained.