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Look out for more coverage of
Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins

THE STARS:
Martin Lawrence • Mike Epps • Mo’Nique • Cedric the Entertainer • Nicole Ari Parker • Joy Bryant • James Earl Jones • Margaret Avery
DIRECTOR: Malcolm D Lee

Martin Lawrence stars as Dr RJ THE CONCEPT:
After nine years away, a celebrated TV show host, Dr RJ (Lawrence), accompanied by his fiancée Bianca (Bryant), a former Survivor contestant, is finally returning to the very place he tried to forget. Agreeing to attend his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary party (Jones & Avery), he must now face his family again, including his intimidating older brother Otis (Clarke Duncan), his shady cousin Otis (Epps), his loud-mouthed sister Betty (Mo’nique) and his competitive cousin Clyde (Cedric), whom he believes stole his childhood love interest, Lucinda (Parker).

U.S. RELEASE: February 8 2008, Nationwide
• Rated: PG-13

THE COMMENTS:

MARTIN LAWRENCE:
“This was something I wanted to do with this ensemble cast, that I think is a very funny family movie. For me, I love the heart that it has, I love it reminding us that we need to stay [true] to what started us, which is family.”

MO’NIQUE:
Mo"Nique“I don’t think Betty Jenkins is at all psychotic. I think she is very real, and that’s why she’s very relatable. We all have that one aunt in the family you love her dearly, but you’re nervous when she comes over because you know she’s going to tell it with no regrets or apologies, and that’s who Betty Jenkins is. For me it was my Aunt Joan. She fell down the steps one time and did not spill her drink. I was impressed.”

MIKE EPPS:
Cousin Reggie (Mike Epps) taunts RJ (Martin Lawrence)“I still have arguments with my brothers and sisters right now, it’s kind of like a healthy love. Even though we love each other everybody’s still looking for somebody’s misfortunes, so they can be on top. Not in a mean way, but sometimes I think my brothers like to hear that something’s wrong with me so they can feel needy and ask me for some money.”

MO’NIQUE:
“I think we’re all nothing but children with grown up faces, it never changes. I remember getting the sand beat out of me, and I’ve never let that go. My brother took me up to the sand mound on a Sunday, and we were going over to my aunt’s house, and my mother said, ‘Don’t get dirty.’ Not only did I get dirty, I lost a sock and a shoe, so when she slapped me, sand came out of my mouth – and I’ve never forgotten it. I think I’m going to need therapy for that now; sand bothers me at the beach!”

NICOLE ARI PARKER:
Lucinda (Nicole Ari Parker)“You don’t outgrow unfinished business, [everyone has] childhood dramas, but if somebody did something to you in the third grade that was unforgivable, there’s a little part of your brain that remembers, stores it, waits, and is really patient, because you could be 73 years old and be like, ‘The playground, 2:55 p.m., 1977,’ and you’ll be ready to fight.”

CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER:
RJ and his cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer)“For me this film was a lot of fun, there was a lot of great comedic talent, and we were all fans of each other, so [we let] people have their time to shine. I definitely credit Martin, especially being the lead in this movie, for taking the attitude that he’s got his lane, and I’ve got mine, and so it felt like we just wanted to watch each other, especially with somebody like Mike Epps who’s totally off the cuff, you had no idea where he was going to go.”

PARKER:
“Everybody had their own style, everybody had their own magic, and I had so much respect for what they do and they kept their own thing going within this family theme in the movie.”

LAWRENCE:
“To be able to show a dramatic side in this movie for me was special because I don’t get an opportunity to do that very often, and to be able to do it opposite James Earl Jones was just big. He showed me who the real vet was, because I thought I was doing something [good], and he turned around with a tear in his eye, saying, ‘Young me, can you do this?’ And I couldn’t do that. I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m dealing with a real veteran here.’”

MO’NIQUE:
“We’re all professional, and we knew that Malcolm Lee was being looked at carefully. He’s a young black director, so we wanted to respect that, and we didn’t want to allow our [playing around] to interfere with his work, so we all knew when we could play and we knew when to say, ‘It’s going to start costing Universal money.’ But it takes a great director to know how to work with that type of talent and there were so many of us.”

LAWRENCE:
“This is not just a Black movie just for Black audiences. It’s for everybody. It’s a movie about family. It’s about a young guy who hasn’t been home in nine years, and his relationship with his family, and his relationship most importantly with his father that is kind of sour. There’s no color in that, you know that can happen to anybody.”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins site
Images above © Universal Pictures
Feature © 2008 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #693, March 2008 cover

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