Made in America
Action / Comedy
Made in America
Action / Comedy
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In the Bay Area, widowed Sarah Mathews and her high school senior daughter Zora Mathews are intellectuals who embrace their African roots, Sarah who owns and operates a store all things African called African Queen. Despite often fighting, they truly do love each other. That love is why Sarah would rather Zora attend Berkeley for her freshman year than science prodigy Zora's first choice of M.I.T. on the other side of the country. Caught in a lie, Sarah is forced to admit to Zora that her husband Charlie, who died before Zora was born and who was the love of her life, is not Zora's biological father as Zora has always believed, but that she was conceived via artificial insemination using anonymous sperm from a sperm bank. Determined to have a man in her life she can truly call a "Dad" all her own, Zora, with the help of her longtime best friend Tea Cake Walton, is able to break into the sperm bank's computerized records to find the donor's information, including his name: Hal Jackson. Zora is horrified to learn several things about Hal: that he is *the* Hal Jackson, a local car salesman well known for using tacky methods of advertising; that he is boorish and loutish, stereotypical of his business; but arguably most importantly, that he is Caucasian as in white, white, white, and not even a little black. Both Sarah and Hal, when told Zora's discovery, are taken aback, Sarah in particular incensed that such an error could have been made in having requested a black donor if Zora is indeed a product of Hal's sperm. With the proverbial cat out of the bag, all three have to decide what to do with the information including if Hal should be a part of Zora and thus by association Sarah's life. The information does make Hal at least examine his life, including two so far failed marriages, and now living with a vacuous and stereotypical blonde named Stacy. And despite who Hal is, Sarah and Zora may see him ultimately in a different light than they intended and in a light different than what they would have wanted for the other. —Huggo.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
Aug 15, 2021 at 09:28 PM
grade Movie Reviews
As another example of an average premise and equal execution "Made In America" doesn't disappoint. Whoopie Goldberg and Ted Danson star as one-time customers of a sperm donor bank that has mistakenly given them a very curious daughter. Entering her mid-teens, their daughter Zora (played affably by Nia Long) discovers she is the product of their unintentional love. While Sarah (Goldberg) wanted a strong, tall black man, she would have settled at least for the last part. Instead, she is introduced to Danson by her intuitive daughter after she uses her friend (played by Will Smith) to steal sperm donor records.The rest of the film is pretty much by-the-book. Father and Mother fight, get along, date, daughter gets weirded-out, parents save daughter from bad decision and hug....fade to credits and cliché song.In between:The movie IS worth watching. I give it crap because it's fairly by-the-book but it's not awful. When I first saw this film I was a fan of Danson from "Cheers" and Goldberg from her one-woman show and guest spots on Star Trek: The Next Generation. I remember being pleasantly surprised by both. Danson is an accomplished actor, best in "Pontiac Moon", and stretches his comedic skills here. Goldberg, on the other hand is best here in dramatic moments. She is warm and vibrant with splashes of real brilliance but it's not enough. It's not that she can't do the comedy at all, she is an incredible comedian, the script just doesn't give her enough to do besides be shrill and clumsy with a smattering of nice. Her few scenes with Danson are worth the time spent watching and make up for their tabloid headlines at the time. As for Smith's performance, this early role wasn't much different than most. Every minute on screen he is a joy, still in his "Fresh Prince" mode here he certainly doesn't disappoint. Nia Long is the real find here. If one person from this film should have been given a better shake than anyone it is her. She is vibrant, funny and worthy of the people she shares the screen with. That says a lot.
A perfect Sunday afternoon movie
I really like this film. It's been on British T.V. almost as many times as Mary Poppins and I'm always glad to see it. There is a chaotic comic chemistry between Goldberg and Danson, but they don't egotistically dominate the film, allowing the charming and funny performances by Nora Long, Jennifer Tilly, Will Smith, Peggy Rea and others to shine. I particularly like Tilly's character, a new age airhead, and her new boyfriend, played by Fred Mancuso, who between them, make stupidity lovable. Everyone gets a fair chance, and they all make the best of it. Formulaic as it is, Made in America is about racial identity, which is a difficult subject to address in such a frivolous form as romantic comedy, but it manages to more or less avoid cringes and concentrates on the laughs, only giving as much time to story as is necessary to keep everything moving on. Against the odds and thanks to the superb cast this is a good natured film. It harks back to the optimism of the early nineties, and seems strangely innocent, eleven years on.
Watchable and sometimes charming comedy
The movie seems to work better than the premise might suggest. The three leads - Goldberg, Danson and Nia Long, have a nice chemistry between them. Nia Long being particularly lovable as 'their' daughter. There are some good gags in it, although the movie is not overstuffed with them. The decent, heartwarming plot (just the right amount of twists) handles the race aspects with an exemplary ease.Jennifer Tilly's bit-part was funnier and more successful than Will Smith's. Made in America is hardly a classic but is worth watching if you like a little maturity in your comedy.
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