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Movie review: 'Peeples'

Posted 2:28pm on Thursday, May. 09, 2013

PG-13 (sexual content, drug material, strong language); 95 min.

Peeples is an African-American Meet the Parents that slips funnyman Craig Robinson into the Ben Stiller role. Casting the musically minded Robinson in this formula comedy about screwing up your first encounter with your potential in-laws is like replacing Stiller’s Greg Focker with Jack Black.

Yeah, that might work. And here, formulaic or not, it’s funny.

Robinson plays Wade, an entertainer for kids. How he ended up with stunning U.N. lawyer Grace (Kerry Washington) takes a bit of imagination.

Until you meet her parents. Not that she’s eager to let Wade meet “the Chocolate Kennedys.” But Wade, egged on by his “doll doctor” brother (Malcolm Barrett, hilarious), decides to follow her to the Hamptons and surprise her and her folks with a proposal.

Writer-director Tina Gordon Chism earned her directing debut with pretty good scripts for Drumline and ATL. She packs this one with amusing characters in awkward, if obvious, situations and makes the most of them. Tyler Perry produced Peeples, and he could take notes on how to make a lowdown, broad farce that’s never too low or too broad.

— Roger Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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