“When black people make love, is it different?” cooing JAP Marci Feld (Lisa Kudrow) asks the not-hardly-surly rapper Dr. S (Damon Wayans) as they cruise Central Park in his stretch SUV. “Oh, yeah,” he snickers. “It’s good.” Sigh. For every black comic, a miscegenation tale brimming with electrifyin’ mojo seems a frustratingly cruel rite of passage—see Chris Rock’s Head of State, Queen Latifah’s Bringing Down the House, etc. First test-screened in 2001, Marci X sports woefully outmoded cultural punchlines from Burberry to “Bye Bye Bye.” Based on the Ice-T/Time Warner controversy, this demeaning slapstick (penned by In & Out‘s Paul Rudnick) finds chatterbox Kudrow aiming to clean up Dr. S’s act to save her dim father’s distribution company. The unfathomably popular Dr. S is a botched jumble of clichés—a gangster rapper from Harlem who dresses like a Milwaukee pimp, performs with an MC Hammer-esque stage troupe, and talks like Harvey Fierstein. At a charity auction, he scoffs, “Who wants to win dinner with Donald Trump?” Hey, silly—as a rapper preoccupied with the bottom line, you do. Don’t you read Vibe?
Moving beyond stultifying to stupefying. After defending his free speech, Dr. S tells a congressional hearing that his song title “In the Butt” actually means “with love and respect” to black people. Word? (The original songs were co-written by Mervyn Warren and Hairspray‘s Marc Shaiman, who’s advised to keep his melodies below 125th Street.) In an ending to do Bulworth proud, anti-obscenity crusader Senator Spinkle (Christine Baranski) is outed as a Dr. S fetishist, which allows him to happily continue promulgating negative stereotypes of African Americans. Talk about blackmail.