Mad Families    review Bobby Blakey

Comedies are a dime a dozen these days, but getting one with Charlie Sheen is not so much. His latest film, Mad Families comes from The House Bunny and Joe Dirt 2 director Fred Wolf with an impressive supporting cast including Leah Remini, Naya Rivera, Chris Mulkey, Efren Ramirez, Clint Howard, Barry Shabaka Henley, and Dennis Quaid, but does this film offer up any laughs worthy of this cast or will it be a camping trip not worth taking?

Mad Families follows three families - one Hispanic, one African American, and one Caucasian – who find themselves sharing the same camping space on a Fourth of July holiday weekend. When none of them volunteer to vacate the site, they try to figure out a way to cohabitate peacefully, but eventually decide on a series of competitions to determine a winner. As the families face off in a series of hysterical contests, the brassy, biting Charlie quips and complains his way through the great outdoors, but ultimately, with the help of his fellow campers, ends up realizing what’s most important in life. With such a great cast you would think there would be more laughs here, but sadly they are few and far between. This has everything it needs to be a really 90s throwback style comedy, but either is playing it too safe or just being so cliché that you never really care.

That doesn’t mean there are no funny moments, with the most entertaining being of a single appearance from Dennis Quaid as the park ranger. His simple drunken sequence was a highlight of an otherwise pretty average film. There are some other funny moments, but it was just a bummer to see a film that could have been so funny fall so flat. Like anything comedy is subjective so give the film a shot and decide for yourself and check out Mad Families available now on DVD from Sony Home Entertainment.

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