Chris Rock and comedian Louis C.K. team up as screenwriters on this modest situation comedy, which Rock directed, about investment banker Richard Cooper (Rock), who lives in Pelham with his wife, Brenda (Gina Torres), and children but still has an eye for the ladies. Temptation is no threat to fidelity until his old, ridiculously hot friend Nikki (Kerry Washington) insinuates herself back into his life.
Believe it or not, this is adapted from Chloe in the Afternoon, one of French director Eric Rohmer’s famous moral tales. It’s not especially sophisticated but, like C.K.’s short-lived HBO series Lucky Louie, it is uncommonly realistic about love, sex and marriage and even takes a stab at saying something about race, with Brenda complaining that their children don’t have enough B-L-A-C-K friends and joining a Mocha Moms club. Unfortunately, it’s also a bit misogynous, posing a false Madonna/whore dichotomy that’s overly flattering to the men involved.
On the evidence here, Rock is a compelling comedian who has no real business directing movies — the film is a mess, but it’s an entertaining mess, with just enough funny and/or sexy scenes and one-liners to propel it through 90 slender minutes. (The elaborate joke about Viagra is a show-stopper.) B-
This review was originally published in the White Plains Times.