Picks and Pans Review: White Men Can't Jump
This is a shaggy dog of a movie, with appealing oddball characters and a grungy verisimilitude about small-time dreams, but not much goes on. Viewers (especially basketball fans) will enjoy White Men; it doesn't, however, provide much sustenance in the food-for-thought category. Harrelson (Cheers), a charmer, portrays a playground hoop hustler. He teams with Snipes, less solemn than he was in Jungle Fever, playing a contractor who makes his real money with his jump shot.
Can these two win enough for Harrelson to pay off a debt and for Snipes to move his family to a better home? Can Harrelson and his girlfriend, Rosie (Do the Right Thing) Perez, learn to communicate? Can the 5'11" Harrelson dunk, disproving Snipes's contention that white men can't jump?
These questions don't seem to interest director-writer Ron (Bull Durham) Shelton. He barely resolves them, nor do they matter to the viewer. The real pleasures of White Men are its energetic performances and dialogue. "Listen to the woman," Snipes advises Harrelson, who replies, "If I listen to the woman, do I have to agree with her too?" (R)
On Newsstands Now
- Kim's Delivery Room Drama!
- Katie: A Year After Split
- Princess Kate: Palace's Baby Plan Revealed
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine