There were certain things audiences were just never going to accept: 1) that everyone in Weekend at Bernie's really thinks Bernie is alive, 2) that Denise Richards plays a nuclear physicist in The World Is Not Enough, and 3) that two Wayans brothers in whiteface, looking more like carnival freaks than drag queens, could be mistaken for prominent teen socialites by everyone in the Hamptons. That last is what White Chicks -- written, directed, and produced by the eldest Wayans -- tries to pull off. It doesn't succeed, and it's both obnoxious and nauseating for much of the trip. Anyone who thought Robin Williams' light-speed costume changes strained the credibility of Mrs. Doubtfire will find whole new dimensions of disbelief in White Chicks, in which Shawn and Marlon Wayans transfer identities in about the time it takes to put on a pair of gloves. In more skilled hands than those of the increasingly disappointing Keenen Ivory Wayans, this might be the makings of great farce. In Wayans' hands, it's an opportunity to extend vulgar stereotypes and caricatures to their most insidious extremes, leaving hardly a character to root for, but not in a good way. The message that's supposed to come across is a tired one about not judging someone until you've walked a mile in their heels, but it's not clear who's learning this lesson -- the horrific socialites never change a wink, partly by being improbably squirreled away for much of the narrative, and the only thing the suspended FBI agents prove is that their bumbling rogue methods sometimes pay unlikely dividends. White Chicks was a box-office success, suggesting that audiences don't hold the Wayans to the same standards that critics do.
by Derek Armstrong review