Film

Film

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You don’t need 10 bathrooms when you’ve only got one ass, preaches this vapid, mildly diverting Labor Day BBQ–omedy about a middle-class family thrown into Beverly Hillbillies–style upheaval. After son Todd (Quran Pender) is selected as the top pick in a cheap replica of an NBA draft, the promise of fortune packs the extended Anderson clan into Todd’s new, gated estate to bicker and flex some down-home culinary muscle. Amid the reinforced ghetto stereotypes and predictable, flatulence-saturated chicanery, a couple of characters provide campy entertainment—most notably Danny Glover’s opera-singing, mid-Atlantic-accented neighbor, and a psychologically unfit security guard played by a cheekily substandard Queen Latifah (who also co-wrote the story and produced). Eventually, the pointlessness of The Cookout exudes a modicum of charm, but the simple-minded mess still lacks the wit and moral weight of an episode of Family Matters.