Man of the House

2006-03-30 13:08

Click here to see our cheerleaders gallery


Texas Ranger Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones) is assigned to protect the only witnesses to the murder of a key figure in the prosecution of a drug kingpin - a group of University of Texas cheerleaders. Sharp, who is estranged from his daughter and from females in general, must now go undercover as an assistant cheerleading coach and move in with the young women.


You can tell a lot about a movie from how it handles the violation of a cow. Early in Man of the House, during one of the first of many lame action sequences, Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones) is forced to retrieve a cell phone thrust up a cow's rear end by criminal-turned-preacher Percy Stevens (Cedric the Entertainer).

A scene revolting enough to put anyone off their popcorn ensues.

After seeing this scene, you'd be forgiven for worrying about the suitability of this film's fairly low age restriction, given that a brace of nubile, giggly and inarticulate young cheerleaders are about to be introduced as main characters.

But though most people who watch this movie will probably do so mainly in the hope of seeing some nubile nudity and underage sex, Man of the House is no soft core Debbie Does Dallas. Instead, it focuses on what writers of American comedies insist on calling the "relationship" between the cheerleaders and their protectors.

It's horribly predictable. Half hearted attempts are made to spice up the film with scenes in which clueless and shallow young cheerleaders say ridiculous things in coy voices while wearing revealing clothes (much to the noble Roland's consternation). But this tired hard-sell tactic barely raises a chuckle, and probably won't raise anything else.

There is character development, or cardboard cut-out development anyhow, when the company of females and the allure of their English teacher forces Roland to undergo the transformation from gopher-like eunuch to George Bush lookalike. It's hard to say if that's an improvement. (Pop fact! George Bush was also a cheerleader!)

And - you guessed it - the girls show there's more to them than jumping around with pompoms. And - you guessed it again - the police show they're not cold hearted, no-fun fellows.

And - you guessed it yet again - the ending is happy. For the audience, this is largely because they're really, really happy that this awful film is finally over.

- Jean Barker

This lame comedy relies heavily on showing cheerleaders in revealing clothes - skip the film and visit our gallery - you'll see just as much and it's cheaper.

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