Are We There Yet? (film)
|Are We There Yet?|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Brian Levant|
|Music by||David Newman|
|Edited by||Lawrence Jordan|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Box office||$97.9 million|
Are We There Yet? is a 2005 American family comedy film directed by Brian Levant. It was written by Steven Gary Banks, Claudia Grazioso, J. David Stem, and David N. Weiss based on a story by Banks and Grazioso. Ice Cube stars alongside an ensemble cast featuring Nia Long, Aleisha Allen, Philip Daniel Bolden, Jay Mohr, and Tracy Morgan.
Produced by Revolution Studios and distributed by Columbia Pictures, the film was released theatrically on January 21, 2005, to generally negative reviews from critics surveyed by Metacritic. The film grossed $98 million worldwide and sold 3.7 million DVDs. A sequel, Are We Done Yet?, was released in 2007, and a television series featuring the film's main characters premiered in 2010.
Children Lindsey and Kevin Kingston sabotage the relationships of their divorced mother, determined to keep her single until their parents reconcile. Nick Persons, a businessman who hates children, purchases a brand-new 2004 Lincoln Navigator and boasts with his beloved bobble-head of Satchel Paige, who comes to life at its own will – though only Nick can hear him. When he reaches his shop, he witnesses the woman of his dreams, Suzanne Kingston. On his way to talk to her, he is disgusted to find she has two kids, who turn out to be Lindsey and Kevin.
Later that night, Nick runs into Suzanne on his way home, asking for a jump start because her car has broken down. After receiving an electric shock, he agrees to take her home, and once there, agrees to transport her wherever she needs to go. On New Year's Eve, he brings her to the local airport to go to Vancouver for a business meeting, but her ex-husband calls to say he is sick and cannot bring the children to the airport, leaving her to put her trust in Nick.
Once at her house, he meets Kevin and Lindsey for the second time and gives them "gifts" (a pizza coupon for Lindsey and a corkscrew for Kevin). They go to the airport to park, where Kevin accidentally damages Nick's car door. Nick yells at Kevin for having his car door damaged, making him cry, but bribes him with 10 dollars to make sure he doesn't get in trouble by the police. Inside the airport, Kevin learns that corkscrews are illegal to bring on planes so he ditches the item in Nick's jacket pocket, which leads to Nick being tackled by security. After taking a train instead, the two kids jump off to collect a toy just as Nick boards, forcing him to jump off and land unsafely. When they lose their luggage, they reluctantly drive.
Believing Nick is only their mother's friend, the kids are tamed but still misbehave and show Nick no respect. At a truck stop, the two learn from one of Nick's friends, Marty, on his cell phone that he not only dislikes them, but also lied about not having feelings for their mother. They then show less restraint and cause mayhem throughout the trip, hijacking Nick's car by having Kevin fake an asthma attack, injuring Nick in the testicles with a plastic axe, signalling to truck driver Al Buck that they have been kidnapped (which causes Nick to accidentally drive his car into the woods and down a mountain, resulting in heavy damage to the car, much to his horror and dismay), and ultimately running away to visit their father. Nick pursues them on a horse but falls off.
Once they arrive at their father's house, however, they learn their father has not only moved on, but has a new family. Feeling betrayed and abandoned, they warm up to Nick, as he does them. Nick tells them his father also abandoned him. Throughout the rest of the trip, the three find themselves in several more mishaps, but each setback only strengthens their relationship. At one point, Kevin has to get an inhaler refill from a pharmacist working as a clown at a chaotic children's New Year's Eve party, and during this, Lindsey reveals her singing talent, doing a karaoke version of Aretha Franklin's 1965 song "Respect". Back on the road, Kevin vomits on the car's windshield and then they pull into a conservation area to clean out the car. While Kevin and Nick feed a deer some cookies, Lindsey accidentally scares it with a camera flash, causing the deer to fight Nick, resulting in him losing his keys. Because of this, Nick tries to hotwire the car using his lighter, but he accidentally sets the alarm off. After stopping the alarm, Nick slams the car's hood down, causing the lighter to tip over and set the inside of the car on fire. The car then explodes. Nick angrily blames the kids by pretending it was their fault making them cry but calms down and apologizes immediately afterwards.
The trio tries to hitchhike a ride from Al Buck, but he leaves Nick behind and drives off, still thinking Nick is a kidnapper. Nick hitches a ride from the driver of a billboard truck. To Al's surprise, the kids physically attack him in the van, leading to a chase that ends when in Vancouver, where Nick fights Al, along with several men dressed as snowmen. During the fight, Kevin has an asthma attack and collapses. Nick rushes to his aid and revives him. Witnessing the event, Suzanne believes trusting Nick was a mistake. After encouragement from Satchel, Nick goes to Suzanne's hotel to tell her and the kids farewell for good. After Suzanne realizes how much Nick and the kids have grown to care for each other, Suzanne realizes that Nick is the one for her, and they kiss on New Year's Eve during the fireworks at Lindsey's suggestion.
- Ice Cube as Nick Persons, a smooth-talking, bachelor who hates children
- Nia Long as Suzanne Kingston, a divorced single mother
- Aleisha Allen as Lindsey Kingston, Suzanne's bratty, clever, and antagonistic 11-year-old daughter
- Philip Daniel Bolden as Kevin Kingston, Suzanne's asthmatic, immature son and Lindsey's seven-year-old brother
- Jay Mohr as Marty, Nick's best friend
- M. C. Gainey as Al Buck (known as "Big Al"), a well-meaning truck driver who stalks Nick throughout the film in an effort to "rescue" the kids, as he mistakenly believes that Nick has kidnapped them
- Tracy Morgan as a Satchel Paige Bobblehead (voice), Nick's prized possession and confidante, who speaks to him through his conscience
- David Barclay as Satchel Page Bobblehead (puppeteer)
- C. Ernst Harth as Ernst, a truck driver who tries to help Nick save the kids from Big Al, but fails after Big Al crashes his truck
- Nichelle Nichols as Miss Mable, Kevin and Lindsey's babysitter
- Sean Millington as Frank Kingston, Kevin and Lindsey's father and Suzanne's ex-husband, who abandoned his family some time before the events of the film
- Henry Simmons as Carl, Suzanne's date who was scared off by Kevin and Lindsay
Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 11% of 116 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 3.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "This supposed family comedy starring the usually blameless Ice Cube and Nia Long has provoked most critics to write, Is it over yet?" On Metacritic, the film has a score of 27 out of 100 based on 28 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.
The film opened at #1, with a gross of $18.6 million in 2,709 theaters averaging $6,856 per venue. The film's opening weekend made up 22.57% of its final domestic gross. In its second weekend, the film dropped to #2 but lost just 12% of its audience, grossing a further $16.3 million, and raised the ten day total to $38.5 million. It closed on June 16, 2005, with a final gross of $97.9 million worldwide ($82.7 million in North America and $15.2 million internationally). The film was released in the United Kingdom on February 17, 2005, and opened on #6 within the first weekend. The next weekend, the film moved up one place, then down back to #6, before finally ending up on #13 on March 25, 2005.
Awards and nominations
- BMI Music Film Award
- 2005 Teen Choice Awards: Choice Movie – Comedy (nominated, lost to Napoleon Dynamite)
- 2006 Kids' Choice Awards: Favorite Movie (nominated, lost to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
In 2010, Are We There Yet? premiered on TBS. The show's executive producer and creator is Ice Cube, who created and starred in the film adaptation. All of the roles from the film series are recast. Terry Crews, who previously worked with Cube in Friday After Next and Lottery Ticket, takes over the role of Nick and Essence Atkins, who was in Dance Flick and Smart Guy, takes over Nia Long's role as Suzanne. The only actor from the film series to return for the television series is Ice Cube, who stars in a recurring role as Suzanne's brother, Terrence.
- "Are We There Yet? (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. January 20, 2005. Retrieved August 28, 2016.
- "Are We There Yet? (2005)". British Film Institute. Retrieved September 1, 2017.
- "Are We There Yet?". Metacritic. CBS.
- "Are We There Yet? (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster.
- "Are We There Yet? – CinemaScore". CinemaScore.com.
- "Are We There Yet?". Box Office Mojo.
- "Weekend box office 18th February 2005 - 20th February 2005". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "Weekend box office 25th February 2005 - 27th February 2005". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "Weekend box office 4th March 2005 - 6th March 2005". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- "Weekend box office 25th March 2005 - 27th March 2005". www.25thframe.co.uk. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
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