Paramount sat on Marci X for several years before unceremoniously releasing it in theaters last August. The film came and went without so much as making a blip at the box office, and the critics who did manage to see it during its very brief theatrical run were none too nice. Lisa Kudrow’s titular white girl offers career advice to the notoriously raunchy rapper Dr. S (Damon Wayans) after her father Ben (director Richard Benjamin) has a Congressionally-induced heart attack. When she falls in love with the rapper, they take their relationship woes straight to the Supreme Court, where they must justify the semantics of rap before the court of Sen. Mary Ellen Spinkle (Christine Baranski, in a performance straight out of “The Carol Burnett Show”). As written by Paul Rudnick (In & Out), Marci X lampoons C. Delores Tucker’s misguided 1996 attack on “gangsta rap” labels Death Row and Interscope, which released records by 2Pac, Snoop Dogg and others, and finds home for parodies of Suge Night, Puff Daddy, Jennifer Lopez and boy bands. Critic Armond White defends the film’s satire in his excellent Africana review, and though there’s no denying Rudnick’s grasp of pop culture and the complex relationship between music and politics (gender, racial and governmental), Marci X is a sketch comedy that misses more than it hits. And not unlike Danny DeVito’s Death to Smoochy, the worst thing that can be said about it is that it’s a good decade too late.
- Paramount Pictures
- 83 min
- Richard Benjamin
- Paul Rudnick
- Lisa Kudrow, Damon Wayans, Richard Benjamin, Christine Baranski, Paula Garcés, Jane Krakowski, Veanne Cox, Shere Rene Scott
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