Marci X2003

Genre: Comedy, Music
"JAP" meets rap in Marci X, a feel-good comedy that was filmed in 2000 and shelved for three years. Despite its lowly fate, this cross-cultural satire has a respectable pedigree, written by In and Out screenwriter Paul Rudnick (A.K.A. Premiere magazine columnist "Libby Gelman-Waxner") and directed with surprising vitality by Hollywood veteran Richard Benjamin, who seems doomed to a string of flops. Lisa Kudrow is perfectly cast as a Jewish socialite whose corporate mogul father (Benjamin) is being ruined by controversy involving a raunchy hip-hop star (Damon Wayans) on his payroll, and an ultra-conservative senator (Christine Barnaski) who demands censorship and public apologies. Aided by Marc Shaiman's catchy spoof-songs, Rudnick and Benjamin earn some big laughs when Kudrow and Wayans hook up for some color-blind synergy, but Marci X never quite hits a groove. It was stale before its release, and toothless when it should have had bite. Still, it's recommendable as Benjamin's most ambitious comedy since 1982's My Favorite Year. --Jeff Shannon

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