[Screen It]


(2001) (Chris Rock, Regina King) (PG-13)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Moderate Minor *Heavy Minor Moderate
Mild None Minor Mild Moderate
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
*Moderate Minor Minor Mild *Moderate

Comedy: A black amateur comedian tries to win the girl of his dreams and a comedy gig after being mistakenly called to Heaven too soon and then returned to Earth in the body of a rich and much older, white Manhattan mogul.
Lance Barton (CHRIS ROCK) is a black bicycle courier and aspiring comedian whose material isn't that funny, much to the dismay of his seasoned comedy manager, Whitney Daniels (FRANKIE FAISON). Nonetheless, Lance wants one of the coveted amateur spots on the last night of operation for the famed Apollo Theater.

Unfortunately, he doesn't get that chance when a Heaven sent emissary, Mr. Keyes (EUGENE LEVY), accidentally calls him up to Heaven decades before his time. Not surprisingly, Lance is none too pleased by this development and gets Keyes' boss, Mr. King (CHAZZ PALMINTERI), to return him to Earth. Since his old body is no longer available, however, King temporarily puts Lance into the body of Charles Wellington, one of the richest, but most ruthless businessmen in America, who happens to be white.

Although Lance still appears the same to himself, everyone else - including Cisco (MARK ADDY) the butler and Wanda (WANDA SYKES) the maid - still see him as Wellington, but wonder if he's gone off the deep end with his new and bizarre behavior. Even more troubled are Wellington's wife, Amber (JENNIFER COOLIDGE) and personal assistant, Winston Sklar (GREG GERMANN), who are not only having an affair, but were the ones who tried to poison him, thus making his body available to Lance.

As Lance quickly learns all of this, he also meets Sontee Jenkins (REGINA KING), a woman who's set out to disrupt Wellington's life after he's announced plans to privatize a community hospital. Lance is immediately smitten with Sontee, but all she initially sees is a mean, older white man who's public enemy number one.

Soon, Lance sets out to correct Wellington's past mistakes and woo Sontee, all while still trying to land one of the amateur comedian gigs at the Apollo and keeping Keyes and King from ruining all of those plans.

If they're fans of star Chris Rock or anyone else in the cast, they just might.
For language, sexual humor and some drug references.
  • CHRIS ROCK plays a bicycle courier and aspiring comedian who's called up to Heaven before his time. Returned to Earth in another body, he sets out to play a closing date at the Apollo Theater, right the wrongs of the last inhabitant of the body, and win the heart of Sontee. He uses some profanity.
  • REGINA KING plays a woman who meets and eventually falls for Lance after he's taken over that body from a ruthless businessman who planned to privatize a community hospital.
  • MARK ADDY plays Lance's butler who questions his boss' sanity when he sees him apparently talking to no one (when he's really talking to Keyes or Mr. King).
  • EUGENE LEVY plays an angel who pulls Lance's soul from his body too soon.
  • FRANKIE FAISON plays Lance's seasoned comedy manager.
  • GREG GERMANN plays the wealthy man's scheming assistant who's having an affair with his wife and plotting to kill him with her.
  • JENNIFER COOLIDGE plays that wife who's having an affair, involved in the plot to kill him, and then tries some kinky things to win him back (but fails).
  • CHAZZ PALMINTERI plays the head angel as envisioned as a Vegas-style club manager.
  • WANDA SYKES plays one of businessman's maids who grumbles about her boss (and uses some profanity and disparaging remarks) until Lance takes over his body and pays her more money.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this comedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 12 "s" words, various other expletives and many colorful phrases (that collectively occur in several rap songs that play on the soundtrack).

    Some sexually related dialogue and jokes are present, while a married woman fools around with her husband's personal assistant (comical passionate kissing and groping, etc.). She later tries to win back her husband by offering him a ménage a trois, as well as wearing tight-fitting and revealing clothing.

    Various comical instances of lethal, but not graphic violence are present, including an assassination, several instances involving vehicles, suicide, and an accident. Other non-lethal violence is also present, and various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes. Beyond that, various characters drink and some jokes are made about drugs or drug use.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may want to see it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed content listings for more specific examples of what's present in it.

  • Lance and Whitney have beer in front of them.
  • People have drinks in Heaven (staged like a swanky club).
  • King carries a martini.
  • Sklar and Mrs. Wellington have martinis.
  • Lance and Cisco have beer.
  • People have drinks in a comedy club.
  • Lance jokes that he (as Wellington) must have been taking Ecstasy when he made a previous business decision.
  • Cisco brings beers for Lance and Whitney. Moments later, with him not believing that Wellington is Lance, Whitney tells him, "I don't know if it's drugs you're taking, or drugs you need to be taking." Lance then convinces him who he is by reminding him of the time when they got drunk and were so drunk that they thought some girls were transvestites. Later, Lance jokes that he hasn't met God, but that the "Devil's got some good weed."
  • Sontee, Lance, Whitney and Cisco have beer in front of them.
  • People have drinks in a comedy club in several more, separate scenes.
  • People celebrate with champagne after a comedy performance.
  • When Sontee tells Lance that she's in medicine (as an occupation), he jokingly asks if she's a drug dealer.
  • We see Wanda mixing a martini in a car.
  • Lance accidentally hits Sklar in the face with a golfing back swing, causing the latter to have a bloody nose.
  • Some viewers might not like the film's portrayal of Heaven as a swanky club.
  • Most of what's listed below is portrayed/played out in a light, comedic sense rather than in a realistic/malicious fashion.
  • Patrons heckle and boo Lance during his standup comedy routine.
  • Sklar and Wellington's wife have both for having an affair and attempting to kill Wellington via poisoning.
  • Wanda and another maid are bitter toward the Wellingtons.
  • Sklar tells Lance that they could call their "problem solvers" and take care of Sontee (and that they could kill her dog), but Lance wants no part of that.
  • After Cisco and Lance arrive in a comedy club where most of the patrons are black, Cisco asks Lance (who appears white to him and everyone else) whether this is a good idea since "it's a little dark in here."
  • A miscellaneous man tries to rob Lance at gunpoint.
  • An older man on the company board suggests that they just kill Wellington and be done with it, and we later see an assassin who's out to kill Lance/Wellington.
  • Some may not like Wanda wearing a fur coat, while a protestor pours paint on that coat.
  • We see a man preparing a sniper rifle that he's planning to use on Lance/Wellington.
  • Unseen guns: Fired at a rap concert and evidently responsible for a person or several people's deaths (we never see them).
  • Handgun: Used by a man in an attempt to rob Lance.
  • Sniper Rifle: Used to shoot a man dead.
  • Knife/Switchblade: Defensively pulled out by Wanda when a man is shot.
  • Phrases: "Bullsh*t," "Cheap sh*t," "What kind of cold ass sh*t is that?" "Get your ass off the stage," "You suck," "Where the hell am I?" "Go to Hell," an incomplete "What the…" "Whip your ass," "Freakin," "Who the hell does she think she is?" "Stuck up bitch," "Cheap ass," "Freaks," "Holy crap," "Screwed up," "You're damn right," "You cheap bastard," "You idiot," "Incompetent moron," "Bitch," "Retard," "Ho'" (for whore), "You scheming, double-crossing bitch," "Scumbag," "Shut the hell up," "Laid" (sexual), "Pissed off," "Goody two-shoes crap," "What the hell do you think you're doing here?" "Shut up," "What the hell is going on here?" "Knock boots" (sexual), "Kiss my ass" and "You sick bastard."
  • A man gives Lance "the finger" (thinking he's Wellington).
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in a few scenes.
  • While some of the rap songs that play during the movie have lyrics that can't be understood, we did hear several uses of the "s" word, along with "ass" and repeated uses of the term/phrases "niggers" and "shake your ass."
  • At least 12 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex ("screwing," "schtupping," and "knock boots"), 26 asses (5 used with "hole"), 9 damns, 7 craps, 6 hells, 1 S.O.B., and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "Oh Jesus" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Beyond that, there's some partially bleeped out profanity including the "f" word used with "mother."
  • Most of the behavior that's listed below is portrayed/played out in a light, comedic sense rather than in an erotic fashion.
  • Whitney tells Lance that some girl is so skinny that if the two of them have sex, they might start a fire.
  • Sklar and Mrs. Wellington start passionately kissing and moments later we see them lying on a sofa with him on top of her, kissing her clothed belly.
  • Mrs. Wellington slaps Sklar, but that arouses them, causing them to passionately kiss once again and for him to pull her down on top of him on top of a pool table. Lance catches them and they try to act like they were doing something else, but Lance tells him, "Don't oh Charles me. You were getting ready to have sex on the pool table." He then says to Mrs. Wellington, "You have an eight ball in your ass." He then tells Sklar that he can "keeping waxing that ass to keep her off mine." Sklar then sounds aroused by the thought of waxing.
  • As Lance goes through the TV channels in his new home, he comes across the Playboy channel and we briefly see a sensuous looking woman, but no nudity or sexually related behavior.
  • A comedian jokes about people thinking that all black people do is running and screwing (sexual) since all that's found in stores for black people are shoes and baby clothes.
  • Sklar runs his hand way up inside Mrs. Wellington's skirt along her thigh, but she blows off his advances.
  • Listing various maladies people might have, Lance mentions "the clap" (gonorrhea).
  • Lance jokes that his (Wellington's) company made a lot of money and thus "We got paid. We got laid."
  • Lance comes home to find Mrs. Wellington (thinking he's Mr. Wellington) in bed. She tells him that she feels like she's been neglecting his needs and that since she knows one of his fantasies is about a ménage a trois, she's arranged that for him. We then see another woman pop up from under the covers and look alluringly at him (while Mrs. Wellington wears a low-cut negligee that shows cleavage). Nothing happens, however, as Lance shakes his head and walks away.
  • Sontee shows some cleavage.
  • Lance tells Sontee that they'll just talk and that there won't be any "nasty talk," unless that's what she's into.
  • A company board member tells Sklar (about Wellington), "Maybe the fact that you're schtupping his wife changed his attitude."
  • As a rap song plays that contains the lyrics, "Shake your ass," we see Mrs. Wellington (who's donned a hip hop attitude and tight-fitting leather pants) doing just that in front of Lance. She also wears a bra top that shows cleavage. He asks what she's doing and she replies that she's "backing that ass up" and wants them to "knock boots." They then make a few comments whether she was trying to "jack" him (that may or may not be said in a sexual context).
  • During a standup comedy routine, Lance jokes about how kissing becomes protocol and/or routine for a couple and then includes various reasons a couple would kiss, including, "Hey, we're having sex."
  • Wanda has a cigarette in one scene, while King holds a cigar in another.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Wellington apparently don't have a good marriage (before Lance takes over his body) as she's having an affair with Sklar and is involved in an attempt to murder her husband.
  • The concept of Heaven and being called up early to it as presented in this film.
  • How one can never know when their time will be up (as far as living).
  • The affair between Sklar and Mrs. Wellington and their attempt at killing her husband.
  • All of what's listed below is played out in a light, comedic tone, rather than realistically/graphically.
  • An older man somewhat comically takes a broom and hits Lance to make him get off the stage during a failed standup comedy routine.
  • Although we don't see the impact, Lance is hit by a truck and killed (we then see him in Heaven).
  • Lance hits Keyes with something after learning that he pulled him from Earth too soon.
  • While looking for a replacement body, Lance and King see several deaths that include a person jumping to their death from a high rise window (we only see the jumping and not the impact, although we hear it); a body builder who drops a barbell on his own throat (with view of the impact blocked by his chest); and Wellington who's been poisoned by Sklar and Mrs. Wellington (we see a leg sticking out from the bathtub).
  • Lance accidentally hits Sklar in the face with a golfing back swing (that occurs off camera), causing the latter to have a bloody nose.
  • Mrs. Wellington slaps Sklar, but that arouses them.
  • We see Lance's point of view as a man punches him in the face (for singing rap songs as an older white man).
  • We hear some guns being fired at a rap concert and assume that at least one person was killed (as we see Keyes there apparently waiting for their souls).
  • A thug tries to hold up Lance at gunpoint, but when the comedian is assured by Keyes that he won't die for another forty some years, he then chases the gunman away.
  • A sniper fires a shot that kills a man (we don't see the impact, just the dead body lying on the ground with no blood).
  • We hear a bad car wreck (that presumably kills a driver) and later see the wreckage, but a new soul walks away unscathed in the body (thus making it look like no one was hurt).

  • Reviewed February 12, 2001 / Posted February 16, 2001

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