Like Eddie Murphy in that old Saturday Night Live skit, the bumbling FBI agents played by Marlon and Shawn Wayans in White Chicks go undercover in whiteface and discover a world of privilege. They complicate their potential social commentary, however, by impersonating white women. When the Hilton-like heiresses they’re guarding get scratched in a fender bender and refuse to play kidnap-bait at a Hamptons party, the boys call in a latex crew, strap on some silicone, and take their places. Thus begins a plotless romp of Manolo wobbling, “Omigod!” yipping, and broadly comic attempts to conceal that unsquashable manly lust and slangin’ machismo.
Since we’ve seen that the out-of-costume agents are stylish buppies, jokes depending on class division don’t really fly (they’ve never heard of quiche?). Race, too, takes a backseat, though the funniest bit comes when the “girls” replace Vanessa Carlton with rap on the radio, and the two masked freaks assure their white hottie pals it’s OK to sing the N-word when no one’s around. A hilarious dance-off is also won handily when society slut rivals get served by the break-dancing impostors. But most jokes concern hapless attempts to decode camped-up girl-culture rituals like ice-cream sleepovers and fitting-room fat-freakouts. Over-the-top mugging turns these exaggerations into harmless slapstick fun. But it’s fascinating to note how many comedic setups—like the ogling that prompts the brothers’ ire, or Shawn Wayans’s forced charity-auction date with a horny NFL player—rely on a blithely assumed gender inequality. When the agents finally empty their Wonderbras and de-wig, you can sense they’re ecstatic to get back to the privilege of being male.