When Nick (Ice Cube, Barbershop) falls for single mother Suzanne (Nia Long, Big Momma's House), he initially doesn't have to worry about what her kids think of him because she just wants to "be friends." Undeterred by this... more » statement- or his buddies, who dog him for loitering in the stalking-friend zone- Nick keeps hanging around. So when Suzanne finds herself in a jam and needs someone to escort her kids to meet her in Vancouver for New Year's Eve, Nick gladly opens the door for opportunity. Itcould be the best way to win her heart or the biggest mistake of his life. With more that one destination on his mind, Nick embarks on a road trip he'll never forget- and neither will you!« less
"We both enjoyed the DVD a great deal. The songs stuck in our heads and we both found ourselves humming them throughout the day. This DVD would be a great asset to parents with portable DVD players. It will serve as a FUN reminder for children who may get bored on the trip for things that can be done to help pass the "Miles". We loved the little quizzes and had fun competing for the answers. I would recommend this DVD to parents with little adventure seekers."
Kathy Schneider | Wolfforth, TX | 06/02/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found this DVD not only educational, without my children knowing it but interesting, as well. If you asked their opinion they say it was FUNNY! My youngest two children are still asking to watch it again and again and are now quoting from ARE WE THERE YET? Well done! This is a keeper for our movie gallery for my children to choose from.
Kathy Schneider Kids: 4, 7, and 17"
Road Trip Lifesaver
Jen Lilienstein | Summerland, CA | 05/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Kids have just as much fun playing these old classic travel games with Miles and his friends as we all did when we were young. And even parents may catch themselves humming or singing along to Rebecca Frezza's catchy car tunes. (I know I did!) The chapter DVD format makes it really easy for kids to play their favorite parts over and over again. Great to pop into the minivan DVD player for both short and long car trips!"
All over the place and never quite went anywhere
Durling Heath | Cohoes, NY | 02/13/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There is nothing wrong with a contrived conflict to move the plot along, especially in a slapstick kid's comedy. However, if a movie is not really that funny, then contrived conflict is just another annoyance.
In "Are We There Yet," Ice Cube plays Nick, the owner of an upscale sports memorabilia store and a "Playa." Nick is struck by lightning when he scopes Suzanne (Nia Long) across the street from his store, but is just as quickly turned off when he sees Suzanne's two children, Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Bolden.) By chance, Suzanne's car stalls on a deserted highway on a rainy night, and Nick gets the chance to get to know Suzanne as a person, not to mention to show off his new, tricked-out Lincoln Navigator. Lindsey and Kevin are convinced that their parents will eventually reunite, so the two do everything in their clever and bratty little heads to keep potential suitors away from their mom. However, when the children's father is unable to take them, Nick volunteers to fly with the kids to Vancouver where Suzanne has a business event. However, after a series of unfortunate, unlikely, and manufactured events, Nick decides to drive the kids to Vancouver in the Navigator. Let's just say things get ugly for Nick.
In general, such an adventure will eventually produce either a likeable protagonist, moral transformation of the antagonists, or both. `Are We There Yet' fails to accomplish either. Nick is inconsistent in his approach to the Lindsey and Kevin, and he varies in his desire to strangle or to hug the two ornery little brats. (I can't say that I could have blamed him if Nick did actually strangle the kids. At least Nick would have gone to prison and the movie would have ended there.) Lindsey and Kevin themselves never really seem to get the point that treating other people, adults, like refuse is not the way to a happy ending. Even the happy ending was forced.
`Are We There Yet' certainly had potential, however. Small roles for Nichelle Nichols (who portrayed Lieutenant Uhuru in the original Star Trek television show and films) as Miss Marble, the kids' babysitter, Jay Mohr as Marty, Nick's employee at the memorabilia store, and Tracy Morgan as the voice of the Satchel Paige bobble-head doll provided the opportunity for a lot of fun for both children and parents in the audience. However, very little of the characters' jokes or personalities were very well developed, and thus fell flat. (Marty did have the line of the movie though. When talking with Nick on his cell phone during his trip through Hell after Nick endures yet another particularly difficult onslaught from Lindsey and Kevin, Marty quips, "If the kids hate ya,' Mommy won't date ya.'") Even Nia Long's character, Suzanne underwent a frightening transformation from a loving, potential love interest for Nick to some sort of shallow mega-bitch.
In short, there is not much here. The silly, slapstick humor fell short. The kid's behavior was not funny and a poor model for a young audience. `Are We There Yet' was simply all over the place and never quite went anywhere. I guess it's better than Vancouver. "
Cringing throughout a comedy is not a good thing
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 06/17/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There is quite a bit of perilous tightrope walking involved in mixing violent slapstick comedy and heartfelt pathos. Charlie Chaplin did it a lot and you can certainly point to the original "Home Alone" as being a successful mix. But in the former the target of the physical attacks was usually some guy twice the Little Tramp's size and in the latter it was the Wet Bandits. That is not the case with "Are We There Yet?" There are certainly some laughs to be had in this 2005 comedy, but for the most part I find myself cringing at what was happening on screen and the only reason director Brian Levant's film gets 3 stars is because there are a few success and rather important moments of pathos in this mess.
Nick Persons (Ice Cube) has an upper scale sports collectible store and a brand-new Lincoln Navigator, when he is smitten by the sight of Suzanne Kingston (Nia Long). The bad news is that she is a single mom with a pair of terror tots, Lindsy (Aleisha Allen) and Kevin (Philip Daniel Bolden), who have been taking care of all of mom's would-be boyfriends. They are waiting for their mom to reconcile with their dad. Nick wants nothing to do with children, but he and Suzanne become friends and when she has to go to Vancouver for work and her ex-husband bails on having the kids for New Year's, he ends up agreeing to transport the kids and the madness begins.
The core problem here is that these kids are viscous little monsters who physically assault innocent men. This is not cute little Kevin hurting the bad guys who are trying to rob his home, but two kids going after every guy who wants to date their mother. It is not funny it is mean. It is also dangerous, which gets us to another key problem with this movie in terms of how many times the attempted humor has to do with cars and trucks. In other words, situations that in the real world would get these kids killed are repeatedly done for laughs in this movie. Watching a couple of kids screaming while the car they are in is squeezed against the railing on the highway by a fully loaded semi-truck is not all that funny in the real world and we kept cringing through all of these types of scenes (there are several). Granted, it is not wise to confuse a movie with the real world, but there are moments when this film wants to talk to the reality that there are a large number of African-American children being raised without their fathers living in the house. More importantly, those are the best moments in the film.
This is because Nick is not a bad guy, which is the flip side to the core problem, and another reason to cringe every time they go after him. Nick thinks he does not like children and this particular pair of demons give him ample reason to reinforce that idea, but when these children need help, physical or psychological, he immediately goes to their help. The latter is the more important part, because you know full well that these children are going to get their comeuppance when they find out the truth about their father and the moments in which Nick talks to the kids, as opposed to screaming or sticking out his tongue at them, are the best moments in this film because they are the most real.
The fault for this film is to be found in the screenplay by Steven Gary Banks, Claudia Grazioso, J. David Stem and David N. Weiss (four writers is rarely a good sign), because the performances by Ice Cub and the two kids are fine given what was written (Long is reduced to a minor part in the story, which is why the resolution is problematic for me). Jay Mohr has a small part in this film as Marty, Nick's friend who keeps reminding him of how much he does not like kids, and Tracy Morgan does the voice of the Satchel Paige bobble-head doll that Nick has on the dashboard of his vehicle (who does Nick think will be watching DVDs in the backseat if he does not like children?). It was also great to see Nichelle Nichols in a bit part as Miss Mable. What would have been even better was a film that dealt more realistically with the basic idea, which is certainly an important one."