Will Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan’s New Flick Trade Cheap Gay Jokes For a Laugh?


When I heard in January that Eliza Dushku — the Buffy the Vampire Slayer vet now starring in Dollhouse — was making her producing debut with a biopic of Polaroid-loving photographer and big gay Robert Mapplethorpe, I added it to my mental list of “Movies to Get Excited About.” (Eliza’s older brother and co-producer Nate will play Robert; Eliza insists she’s not playing Patti Smith.) But today I heard Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan were joining Chris Rock, Danny Glover, and Zoe Saldana in the remake of Britain’s Death at a Funeral, and the reaction wasn’t exactly “excitement.” Rather, caution.

That’s because Funeral is about a family who loses their father, and at the funeral faces a blackmailer who threatens to out their father as his gay lover. And remember: This is a comedy. And while it all depends on what Funeral‘s writers do with the script, the comedic stylings of Lawrence of Morgan suggest cheap laughs with homophobic jokes (see: Wild Hogs) are on order. I’m not willing to judge the film yet, especially given how amusing the original looks, but I’ll have my eye out.

I do love, however, when producers take projects accustomed to all-white casts and summarily blackwash them. (Debbie Allen’s all-black Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, starring sister Phylicia Rashad, Terrence Howard, James Earl Jones, Anika Noni Rose, and Lisa Arrindell Anderson was among my favorites.)

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  • Gurlene

    In a nut shell, yes. What ever it takes to sell tickets. Controversy wins over quality everytime these days.

    The only time I found Martin Lawrence funny was when he was in drag.

  • Ed

    What I can’t figure out from that cast is which one of them would be comfortable enough to spend half the movie running around high and naked like Alan Tudyk did in the original. None of them seem likely to go there, in my mind.

    I loved the movie, but if we’re honest, the gay lover was pretty much a vindictive bitch that I don’t recall being redeemed in any way, so it’ll probably get worse on that character with this cast, who don’t have a great history with gay characters.

  • Sebbe

    Martin Lawrence? flop

  • Mr. Enemabag Jones

    What in the hell does Eliza Dushku know about Robert Mapplethorpe? She was a child during the height of his popularity and controversy. This is going to be yet another butchering of a great artist’s life. Is good old Nate going to pose with a whip up his ass? This is getting ridiculous.

  • coke bottle x-ray

    ^^^i wish gay movies would just die already so that white bread breeders can move onto another minority to exploit. it was blacks in the 70s mexicans and latinos in the 80s kids in the 90s and now it’s queers.

  • Dutch Boy Fingers

    Sorry cok bottle, but with the success of Milk, queer films will have a 1000 year reign.

  • David Hauslaib

    @Mr. Enemabag Jones: Fair reaction. Not that I’m a big Dushku fan, nor defender, but she tells Entertainment Weekly: I know people think, ‘Eliza Dushku? Mapplethorpe?’ But I was raised in a pretty multi-dimensional family.'”

    We’ll see.

  • Jason

    I wouldn’t worry too much about this movie. When was the last time Martin Lawrence had a hit?

    It will suck in the worst way and get filed off into bad movie history, and its only future will be as a $5 “bargain” dvd at Walmart.

  • bobspice

    Why on earth do they have to remake the film anyway? The original played in theaters here (in my DC Loews – hardly an arthouse flickerie, as the Watchmen lines this weekend bear out).

    The film, which is hilariously scatalogical, covered its budget in the US run alone. It was only released last year: is there such paucity of imagination in Hollywood?

    As for Martin Lawrence, let’s hope he takes another long run in a velour sweatsuit on a warm Valley day before principal photograhy begins in earnest.

  • Edd

    seriously…a remake…so soon, wow hollywood must be short on ideas.

  • BobP

    Straight to video, no pun intended.

  • Mister C

    Well last time I seen Martin Lawrence does pretty well at the box office. Oh I though this is a predominately white gay viewing group who probably doesn’t watch alot of Black comedians anyway. The girls just wait for the HOMOPHOBIC comments then come with the anger.

    Just like the writer of the piece says:
    “But today I heard Martin Lawrence and Tracy Morgan were joining Chris Rock, Danny Glover, and Zoe Saldana in the remake of Britain’s Death at a Funeral, and the reaction wasn’t exactly “excitement.” Rather, caution.”

    HMMMMMM “CAUTION” aka Us Blacks are HOMOPHOBIC so look out for Gay jokes…queens are so funny!

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