Ice Cube's transition from OG (original gangsta rapper) to TB (teddy bear) reaches its DIY conclusion with "Are We Done Yet?" He becomes Everyman, Everyman who has ever lost sleep over the perils of home ownership and home improvement.
It's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," without the tears or the loon with the weird hair.
"Done Yet?" is a sequel to "Are We There Yet?," the Ice Cube-and-kids road-trip comedy, and _ as the credits tell us _ a remake of an old Cary Grant-Myrna Loy chestnut, "Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House." Not Grant's finest hour, but at least almost everyone could identify with the plight of people living through dealing with contractors, even in the 1940s.
There's something reassuring about knowing that a country founded on home ownership has been giving men and women the same renovation ulcers since it began. Maybe George Washington didn't pull his teeth out over dealing with contractors. But you just know Thomas Jefferson did.
Nick (Ice Cube), the sports-collectible king of Portland, has married Suzanne (Nia Long) and made her kids his own. There's another baby on the way. So as he sells his business and tries to start up a sports magazine, they add on the stress of a move to the country.
That's where they meet Chuck. He is the realtor who sells them their dream home, a rural mansion-sized place in need of a little "TLC."
Including rewiring. And dry-rot repair. And roofing.
"I can fix that," Nick lies. Many times. Yes, men, we've all been there.
Oddly enough, Chuck (John C. McGinley of "Scrubs") is also the big local contractor. And city inspector. Next thing you know, Nick's deal for the house includes vast repairs, and Chuck is taking over his life.
"Are We Done Yet?" isn't funny or original enough to recommend. But it's amusing to watch Ice play straight-man to McGinley's perky, needy, too-helpful Chuck. McGinley, the wired, wire-haired, bug-eyed character actor who never misses a chance to strip his shirt off, almost devours the picture. Still, it's a movie pitched a couple of notches above "Are We There Yet?," mainly because of McGinley.
And Nick, we suffer with you, man. Through every plumber, every failed wiring inspection, every little problem that becomes a "Let's gut this sucker" disaster.
Anyone who has ever had to fix his or her own roof, to replace wiring that your legally-blind home inspector didn't tell you wasn't up to code, chase raccoons out of the attic or chase contractors across town until they finish your job will see something they recognize here.