Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

2 out of 5 stars

Of Big Momma, Madea and Norbit’s Rasputia, the first character is the one you’d most like to cuddle up with. The same can be said of Martin Lawrence, who is likable onscreen only when wearing a size-28 frock. As Roscoe Jenkins, a talk-show host returning to his parents’ Georgia home for a family reunion after a nine-year absence, Lawrence has taken to heart his narcissistically wounded character’s philosophy of “team of me.”

Fortunately, house-cured hams Mike Epps, Cedric the Entertainer—both playing Roscoe’s cousins—and especially Mo’Nique (when will she have her own big-girl movie franchise?) as Roscoe’s sister know how to give their all to the crowd. Yet they’re not enough to save this puerile mess, one that frequently relies on animal effluvia for laughs—especially disappointing considering that director Malcolm D. Lee’s last two films, Undercover Brother and Roll Bounce, were warm, funny nostalgia trips. But maybe this is just pointless caviling: The preview audience I saw this with erupted into song anytime a Whitney Houston jam was on the soundtrack. Nominally a one-star film, I’ll add another just for the supreme pleasure of seeing Mo’Nique beat the bejesus out of her arrogant costar.


Release details

Release date:
Friday February 8 2008
114 mins

Cast and crew

Malcolm D Lee
Malcolm D Lee
Margaret Avery
Louis C.K.
Michael Clarke Duncan
James Earl Jones
Mike Epps
Martin Lawrence
Joy Bryant
Cedric the Entertainer
Nicole Ari Parker
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