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DysFunKtional Family: "Nauseating, Unfunny Stuff"
By MARK HOLCOMB
Directed by George Gallo (Miramax, opens Apr. 4).
The Village Voice, Apr. 2, 2003
"Like the recent Martin Lawrence rant-fest Runteldat, Eddie Griffin's stand-up performance film is a belligerent, long-winded ode to one man's sense of his own centrality. In his caustic routine, Griffin, who's been effective elsewhere (notably last year's Undercover Brother), reveals himself to be a racist, misogynistic provocateur who'll say anything - and offend anyone - to get a laugh."
"Interspersed with scenes from his act, which director George Gallo captures dutifully if dully, are sequences in which Griffin reunites with his family (the show took place in his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri) and harasses various locals - including a Sikh passerby he calls 'Osama' and a counterperson he all but calls 'faggot' - to further endear us to his witty ways. It's nauseating, unfunny stuff, unmitigated by the revelation that Griffin's mom physically abused him. (Shots of them yukking it up backstage over her modes of attack are profoundly uncomfortable, and their utter lack of perspective or remorse is chilling.) When will these second-rate Richard Pryor-manqués figure out that hateful invective doesn't make for satisfying comedy? When Hollywood stops believing it's movieworthy, I suppose."