In the vein of Richard Pryor: Live in Concert and Eddie Murphy’s Raw, George Gallo’s Dysfunktional Family affords comedian Eddie Griffin (Undercover Brother) 90 minutes to talk about all things raunch n’ kink. The speed with which pro-pussy, anti-ugly Griffin chucks material at his audience is perhaps less shocking than how little of it actually manages to stick. Griffin’s impersonation of a stealth-balancing heroin addict is a riot but the funniest bit casts the ever-whitening Michael Jackson as an “invisible nigger” sent to fight the war in Afghanistan. Griffin unsuccessfully conceals his contempt for Arabs by calling attention to the legacy of slavery, and as such Dysfunktional Family repeatedly proclaims that the emperor has no clothes. A homophobe in the strictest sense of the word, Griffin gives props to gay men because anyone who can take a dick up their ass and still keep a smile on their face is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Griffin’s endearing relationship to his mother (not to mention his nostalgic endorsement of child abuse) is repeatedly undermined by the near crippling glean of racism-disguised-as-radical-thought. The concert film’s ultimate failure, though, is that it’s been edited with attention deficit. The frequent cutaways to Griffin’s audience give the film a full-bodied personality that other recent comedy films have lacked, but that the audience is sometimes laughing even before Griffin is finished with his jokes suggests that the same Miramax shills who crowded Chicago‘s New York media screening were doing double duty here.
- George Gallo
- Eddie Griffin
- Eddie Griffin
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