WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS Directed by Malcolm D. Lee. 114 minutes. Opens Friday (February 8). Rating: NN
WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS preaches familial tough love, but its cast of irredeemably nasty characters undercuts the message. Martin Lawrence stars as a tabloid talk show host who brings his domineering fiancée (Joy Bryant) - a former Survivor winner - and son to his parents' 50th anniversary party. The relatives, who haven't seen Roscoe in nine years, welcome him home by stoking the rivalry between him and cousin Clyde (Cedric the Entertainer) and administering a series of beatings, both literal and figurative. There are some undeniably funny barbs, the best of them courtesy of sassy cousin Betty (Mo'Nique) and scam-artist cousin Reggie (Mike Epps), but Roscoe's own arrogance and the delight his family takes in humiliating him leave no one to root for.