White Chicks will drain the colour from your cheeks with the frankly horrifying sight of two grown black men posing as white teenage girls. Director Keenen Ivory Wayans takes one (unfunny) joke and runs with it far beyond the realms of plausibility to a point where even Michael Jackson would draw the line. Employing brothers Shawn and Marlon Wayans to play the titular duo, the strain is palpable as they attempt to marry slobbering schoolboy humour with Oprah-inspired life lessons.
The clichés kick in from scene one as FBI agents Kevin and Marcus Copeland (the Wayans brothers) foul up a drugs bust and are relegated to babysitting duty for a pair of socialite sisters (Maitland Ward, Anne Dudek) at the centre of a kidnap plot. But when the girls refuse to show their faces (for reasons too inane to mention here), the Copelands are backed into a corner. Keen to bait the bad guys and restore their professional reputations, they slap on blonde wigs and inch-deep latex and hit the Hamptons' party circuit.
"WHITE CHICKS SHOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN HATCHED"
The idea that this twosome (looking like a cross between circus clowns and the beasties from the Alien franchise) successfully pass themselves off as dainty debutantes is ridiculous enough, but the real insult is that the film's team of (six!) writers couldn't muster one original thought between them. Among the lazy contrivances, Marcus must fend off the advances of a burly football player (Terry Crews) - a scenario that descends into a witless marathon of farting.
Whereas Amy Heckerling's Clueless spoofed society girls without compromising on well-drawn characters, the Wayans' always go for the cheap laughs - substituting "yo mama" jokes for witty observations. With such a shallow portrayal, a final attempt to convey warm and fuzzy notions about the importance of "loving yourself" falls hopelessly flat. Ultimately White Chicks should never have been hatched.