Bearing practically no relation to the 1950’s sitcom on which its based, short of the title and behavioural characteristics of its two leads, “Honeymooners” is a comedy that not so much fails as in rather fails to produce laughs or even light entertainment for that matter. Lacking any real driving story, the film plays out like a series of skits with the two guys trying and failing in assorted get rich quick schemes ranging from abandoned train cars to a poor old racing dog to get them and their girls on their way to easy street.
This could work assuming the characters were endearing, they’re not. Cedric the Entertainer normally shows a good knack for comedy and plays the kind of guy whom many underestimate until its too late. Not so here where his Ralph Kramden, a dim-witted and annoying little man whose temper flares up into abusive tirades directed especially at those he pertains to care about. It’s a performance that’s damaging to not only him but others around him with Epps & Union stuck with characters that are too smart and interesting on their own terms to ever put up with a guy like this.
Not much of the other cast is of note short of cute but very stereotypical performances by John Leguizamo as a con artist and Carol Woods as Union’s mother who’s not afraid to take Cedric’s character to task. With no real path for the film to follow, jokes are fired but miss the target every time. The humour isn’t mean spirited (ala. “King’s Ransom”), yet none of it is the least bit insightful let alone funny. Only Epps few moments of physical slapstick (such as a piano bar session) generate a smile.
Without any cohesive story and Schultz passable but uninspired directing, this is going to quickly come and go from the minds of most cinemagoers with many probably not even registering it. Thankfully kept at a short pace, it nevertheless feels far too stretched out as is. Who knows why one felt the need to turn the show into a film, let alone essentially butcher it til there’s nothing left but a gentile comedy that’s so empty – its more like a bad date than post-coital marital bliss.