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Ghost Canyon

'Made In America'
(Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson, Will Smith, Nia Long, Jennifer Tilly, et al / DVD / PG-13 / (1993) 2016 / 20th Century Fox)

Overview: Whoopi Goldberg, Ted Danson, Nia Long and Will Smith star in a comedy about finding yourself by finding your family--even if that family is not what you expected!

DVD Verdict: In truth, 'Made in America' is a formulaic romantic comedy with a pretty noble premise. That premise is obviously a setup for racial (not racist) gags, but it never becomes a one-joke comedy. Ted Danson and Whoopi Goldberg are great leads. They light up the screen with their (sometimes sexual) tension. Goldberg is one of my favorite actresses, and she's wonderful in this role. It's hilarious to watch her spontaneous outbursts. Nobody does 'em like Whoopi.

There are no real surprises in the plot. Danson is a conceited, self-indulgent used car salesman. He's married to a floozy wife (Jennifer Tilly). Whoopi is a single parent who owns an African-American antique shop. Her daughter finds out that her real father (whose sperm was artificially inseminated) turns out to be Danson, that white used car salesman who does those crazy ads on TV. It's pretty obvious what the punchlines will be and it's pretty obvious how this sometimes schmaltzy story will end up.

However, it's lightweight entertainment that isn't meant to be thoroughly analyzed. Just enjoy it for its many laughs and endearing performances. It's an innocuous, feel-good comedy. Even when it takes a dramatic turn at the third act, I didn't feel the mood was ruined. I guess it's because I felt a respect for all these likeable characters and was somewhat manipulated. Just how I felt the humor in the first and second acts, I felt the sadness in the third. Maybe you will also. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.

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