In Man of the House, Tommy Lee Jones plays a veteran Texas Ranger—his Wranglers tight, his Stetson tall—charged with protecting an insuppressible quintet of murder-witnessing cheerleaders who say things like “Oh my God, you guys!” and “Vagina, vagina, vagina.” He teaches them discipline and respect. They teach him how to loosen up and really feel his feelings. Cedric the Entertainer shows up, hungry for scenery, and, well, entertains. The movie’s not so much bad as it is chillingly uninventive. Each member of the squad fits into a stereotype so broad—the Bad Girl, the Latina Firecracker, the Brainiac who suffers “the curse of Eve” instead of getting her period—it almost suggests satire. For the most part, though, the performances are straight and true—Kelli Garner as the Ditz proves a pleasant surprise. None of the girls are demonstrably embarrassed to be in the film, which speaks to either their work ethic or their poor taste.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 22, 2005