Man of the House [1995]

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Christina Milian, Kelli Garner, Cedric the Entertainer, Paula Garcés
Genre: Comedy
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 100 minutes

Let's face it, sometimes you just want to watch some fluff. The ever-expanding subgenre of cheerleader cinema offers dependable fluff, of which Man of the House is a shiny, frivolous example. After a multiethnic cheerleading squad witnesses a mob execution, Texas Ranger Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive, Men in Black) is assigned to protect them. That's all you need to know--a formulaic plot follows, but the filmmakers recognizes that the formula is known by all so they doesn't waste time with unnecessary exposition. Instead, we go straight to amusing scenes of Sharp teaching the unruly (and scantily clad) girls some discipline and the girls teaching Sharp to loosen up and forge a better relationship with his estranged daughter. It's a one-joke movie, but thanks to Jones' leathery hound-dog face and cowpoke gravitas, the contrast between the girls and Sharp keeps being funny. Of its kind, Man of the House isn't in the same league as Bring It On (pretty much the ne plus ultra of cheerleader movies), but it's head and shoulders over the likes of Sugar & Spice. Also featuring Cedric the Entertainer (Barbershop), Anne Archer (Fatal Attraction), and R. Lee Ermey(Full Metal Jacket). --Bret Fetzer

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