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Marlon Wayans Sextuplets is ridiculous and wallows in stereotypes | The Star

Sextuplets

1 star

The weirdest thing about Netflix signing on for Marlon Wayans’ Sextuplets, in which the comedian dons elaborate makeup and plays all six separated-at-birth siblings in an idea clearly inspired by Eddie Murphy’s fat-suited oeuvre, is that the streamer may have been able to get something similar from the latter soon enough.

Murphy is on the comeback trail and looks to be getting chummy with Netflix. He recently appeared on Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, musing about returning to standup, and will also be on Netflix this fall in Dolemite Is my Name.

He popularized the single comedian/many roles genre first in a classic scene in Coming to America (the sequel of which is also now in development) and then in The Nutty Professor films. While those movies did some groundbreaking fart joke work, was anyone actually clamouring for more?

It’s way too easy to call Wayans a very poor man’s Murphy and, to be fair, he did the full body makeup thing before in White Chicks.

In Sextuplets, he plays Alan, who is about to become a father for the first time, which triggers his need to find out more about his family background. Given up for adoption, he finds out that he is one of a set of sextuplets and goes on a ridiculous road trip to find his increasingly sketchy siblings. This allows him to don a fat suit, play a woman, a sick character and more.

The humour here is sitcom level, with much of the early dialogue feeling like Wayans literally throwing up standup bits. “Black don’t crack, unless you smoke it,” is something he and his wife recite to their obstetrician.

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The film tries to play with stereotypes but wallows in them and, while the laughs are few and far between, there were some funny lines, like when Wayans plays Dawn, his incarcerated sister, who insults one of her just-met brothers with the line: “Oh hell no, he must have come from a defective testicle.”

This film isn’t setting out to win any awards and, while it’s meant to be ridiculous, there are some really strange choices, including an obsession with a really old TV show that I had to stretch my memory to recall.

Marlon Wayans plays all six siblings in Sextuplets, a ridiculous film comedy from Netflix.Whitney Cummings talks about #MeToo, men’s and women’s relationships, and sex robots in the new Netflix special Can I Touch It?

But there’s a reason Netflix gave Adam Sandler a ton of money to make a bunch of formulaic comedies. No matter what critics say, a portion of the audience will watch them and the company knows they are out there. Sextuplets is that kind of film. It’s ridiculous and stupid and exactly what you would expect.

Even though this is a movie that no one should spend time thinking about, I do have one lingering question: If one actor plays a bunch of roles, do they get paid more for the work? Or does the production get a deal? If it’s the latter, this starts to make a lot more sense.

Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It?

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2.5 stars

The latest comedy special from comedian and TV producer Whitney Cummings (2 Broke Girls, Roseanne), also on Netflix, is fuelled by the #MeToo movement. She brings it up by saying: “They give a sh-- about us all of a sudden and we have absolutely no practice being listened to.”

After this was released, Cummings was in the headlines as the object of an online extortion attempt due by hackers threatening to release a nude photo. She released the photo herself to take control of the situation, which is horrible to have to deal with but a good example of her confidence, which comes through in her stage presence here.

Men’s and women’s relationships are obviously at the forefront as she runs through a bunch of topics addressing nicknames, gold diggers, being self-righteous (which is illustrated by a great puppy rescue joke) and much more.

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She’s self-aware enough that in complaining about a friend who often says “all men and all women,” she adds, “I know that sounds weird that I’m criticizing that, because generalizing about men and women paid for my house. But I’m evolving. I now find that really frustrating to engage with.”

Cummings admits she can come off as antiman (which is hard to argue with), but the special really picks up in the back half, as she gets into the longest and best bit about why she is very pro-sex robot. It is very involved with a reveal that is the top comedy special gimmick in recent memory. This special is worth watching for that alone.

Raju MudharRaju Mudhar is a Toronto-based reporter covering popular culture at the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @rajumudharRead More



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