Are We There Yet? (film)

Are We There Yet? is a 2005 American family comedy film directed by Brian Levant. It was written by Steven Gary Banks, Claudia Grazioso, J. David Stem, and David N. Weiss based on a story by Banks and Grazioso. Ice Cube stars alongside Nia Long, Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden, Jay Mohr, and Tracy Morgan.

Are We There Yet?
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrian Levant
Produced by
Screenplay by
Story by
  • Steven Gary Banks
  • Claudia Grazioso
Starring
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographyThomas Ackerman
Edited byLawrence Jordan
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing
Release date
  • January 21, 2005 (2005-01-21)
Running time
94 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States[2]
LanguageEnglish
Budget$32 million
Box office$97.9 million

Produced by Revolution Studios and distributed by Columbia Pictures, the film was released theatrically on January 21, 2005. The film grossed $98 million worldwide and sold 3.7 million DVDs. A sequel, Are We Done Yet?, was released in April 2007, and a television series featuring the film's main characters premiered in May 2010.

Plot

Two rebellious children, Lindsey and Kevin Kingston (Aleisha Allen and Philip Daniel Bolden), sabotage the relationships of their divorced mother, determined to keep her single until their parents reconcile. Nick Persons (Ice Cube), a bachelor who hates children, purchases a brand new 2004 Lincoln Navigator and boasts with his beloved bobblehead doll of Satchel Paige, who comes to life at its own will – though only Nick can hear him. When he reaches his sports shop, he witnesses the woman of his dreams, Suzanne Kingston (Nia Long). On his way to talk to her, he is disgusted to find she has two kids, who turn out to be Lindsey and Kevin. Later that night, Nick runs into Suzanne on his way home, asking for ride because her car has broken down. He agrees to take her home, and once there, agrees to transport her wherever she needs to go. On New Year's Eve, he brings her to the local airport to go to Vancouver for a business meeting, but her former husband Frank calls to say he is sick and cannot bring the children to the airport, leaving her to put her trust in Nick.

Once at her house, he meets Kevin and Lindsey for the second time. Kevin asks Nick if he wants to learn any Chinese and kicks him in his nuts and slaps him. Their babysitter warns Nick he'll fail as the kids fight over the front seat. They go to the airport, where Kevin accidentally damages Nick's car door. Inside the airport, Kevin learns that corkscrews, a gift he got from Nick, are illegal to bring on planes. Unable to get to a trashcan, he slips the item in Nick's jacket pocket, which leads to Nick being tackled by security. They decide to take a train, but the two kids jump off to collect a toy just as Nick boards, forcing him to jump off and land unsafely, losing their luggage, and they reluctantly drive.

Believing Nick is only their mother's friend, the kids are tamed but still misbehave and show Nick no respect. At a truck stop, the two learn from one of Nick's friends, Marty (Jay Mohr), on his cellphone that he not only hates them, but also lied about not having feelings for their mother. Kevin fakes an asthma attack to lock Nick out of his car. Lindsey then tries to drive the car away, but fails because of not knowing how to drive, forcing Nick to chase after them and then trying to get in from the SUV’s rooftop. Lindsey drives the car in a butcher statue, causing the axe to injure Nick in his butt. Later, Lindsey signals to truck driver Al Buck (M.C. Gainey) that they have been kidnapped, causing Nick to accidentally drive his car into the woods and down a mountain, resulting in heavy damage to the car, much to his horror and dismay; ultimately the kids run away to visit their father in a train, with Nick chasing after them on a horse, but ultimately falling off.

Once they arrive at their father's house, they discover he has repeatedly lied about being sick and cut them out of his life by remarrying and having a baby daughter. Feeling hurt and betrayed, they begin warming up to Nick, as he does with them. Nick tells them his father also abandoned him and the three begin to become friends. Back on the road, Kevin vomits on the car's windshield and then they pull into a rest area to clean out the car. While Kevin and Nick feed a deer some cookies, Lindsey accidentally scares it with a camera flash, causing the deer to attack Nick, resulting in him losing his car keys. Because of this, Nick tries to hotwire the car using his lighter, but he accidentally causes the lighter to tip over and set the inside of the car on fire, and explodes.

With the car now a heap of scrap metal, the trio tries to hitch a ride from Al Buck, but he leaves Nick behind and drives off, still thinking Nick is a kidnapper. Nick hitches a ride from the driver of a billboard truck. In Al's truck, the kids physically attack him in the van, leading to a chase that ends in Vancouver, where Nick fights Al. During the fight, Kevin has an asthma attack and collapses. Nick rushes to his side and revives him. Witnessing the event, Suzanne believes trusting Nick was a mistake. After encouragement from Satchel, Nick goes to Suzanne's hotel to say goodbye to her and the kids. After Suzanne realizes how much Nick and the kids have grown to care for each other, Suzanne tells Nick that he is the one for her, and they kiss on New Year's Eve.

Cast

Reception

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 12% of 116 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.32/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This supposed family comedy starring the usually blameless Ice Cube and Nia Long has provoked most critics to write, Is it over yet?"[3] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 27 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[5]

Box office

The film opened at number 1,a with a gross of $18.6 million in 2,709 theaters averaging $6,856 per venue. The film's opening weekend made up 22.57% of its final domestic gross. In its second weekend, the film dropped to number 2 but lost just 12% of its audience, grossing a further $16.3 million, and raised the ten day total to $38.5 million. It closed on June 16, 2005, with a final gross of $97.9 million worldwide ($82.7 million in North America and $15.2 million internationally).[6]

The film was released in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2005, and opened at number 6 within the first weekend.[7] The next weekend, the film moved up one place, then down back to number 6, before finally ending up at number 13 on March 25, 2005.[8][9][10]

Awards and nominations

Television series

In June 2010, Are We There Yet? premiered on TBS. The show's executive producer and creator is Ice Cube, who created and starred in the film adaptation. All of the roles from the film series are recast. Terry Crews, who previously worked with Ice Cube in Friday After Next and Lottery Ticket, takes over the role of Nick and Essence Atkins, who was in Half & Half and Smart Guy, takes over Nia Long's role as Suzanne. The show ended after three seasons in March 2013. Ice Cube has a recurring role as Suzanne's brother, Terrence.

References

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