For the Wayans family, movie spoofs are a major business. Sure, they've had box office success with the original comedies "White Chicks" and "Little Man," but their best work has arguably been the "Scary Movie" franchise. (And for clarification, we're talking movies here people, "In Living Color" is a classic entity all its own.) Now, a number of the Wayans are skewering one of the more popular trends in film over the past decade with "Dance Flick."
The directorial debut of Damien Wayans, the picture takes on fan favorites such as "You Got Served," "Fame," "Hairspray," "Dreamgirls" and a certain vampire flick that has set the internet on fire, but its really centered around the storyline of "Save the Last Dance." Still, some of those older references are a bit unexpected. As Marlon Wayans, who co-wrote the screenplay along with fellow Wayans Keenen Ivory, Shawn, Craig and Damien, says, the picture is like a wedding day, "A little bit of old, little bit of new, something red, a little blue. I think you have to have something old because those are classic movies and you always want to poke fun at them. We had a 'Dirty Dancing' scene in there but it was just a little bit tooooo dirty."
Speaking at a press conference this week to promote the film, Marlon says the "Dirty Dancing" spoof was so unpleasant it made someone throw up during testing. Overall though, he says, "I don't think we went too far. People know what we do. We've been doing it since 'In Living Color.'"
Shawn Wayans, who has a more prominent role in the movie than his brother notes, "We're an equal opportunity offender."
Marlon continues, "We do it with kid gloves. We're not just bashin'. We come with some jokes that are hopefully really funny and it comes from character. I am Black. I have sensitivities but I think we approach with kid gloves and one of the greatest compliments we were able to get was when we did 'Men on Film,' a lot of [people in] the gay community would write in that it's their favorite character. Some people might tell the same joke and it would be offensive. Oddly enough, we're able to tell a joke and people kind of like it."
The Wayans streak of profitable movies is in question this time around as Paramount is bizarrely releasing "Flick" on the same weekend as "Terminator: Salvation" and "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian," but Marlon has another picture to look forward to this summer, "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." He plays Ripcord in the potential new blockbuster and describes it as "actually kind of cool. I used to watch all my friends play with G.I. Joes. I couldn't afford 'um."
Shawn jokes, "He had those cheap little plastic Army men with their feet stuck together."
Marlon continues, "But watching them and watching [the animated series] 'G.I. Joe' every day, you'd rush home after school and you'd get to watch that. Now, I actually have a doll that kids are gonna play with. They'll have Snake Eyes kick me in the neck but, hey, I'm immortalized! I'm very proud of it. The action is sick! [Director Steven Sommers] did an incredible job. It's not campy but doesn't take itself too seriously. It has some humor. It has adventure, humor, romance. It's crazy."
In fact, Marlon reveals "Dance Flick" shot concurrently with "G.I. Joe." Not surprisingly, "Flick" spoofs his "G.I. Joe" co-star Channing Tatumn's breakout film "Step Up." It's one of the better comedy bits in the film precisely because the actor they hired nails Tatum's "simple" delivery so well.
"Channing has a great sense of humor and he would come into my trailer and watch the dailies and he just would be cracking up," Marlon Wayans says, "We'd be like 'Oh, y'all are fooling'. He was watching his scene and he said 'Hey, dawg, is that me?' 'Yeah.' 'That [expletive] hilarious'. I love this guy. He has a great sense of humor about it."
Let's see if the rest of Hollywood and America does.
"Dance Flick" opens nationwide this Friday. "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" opens nationwide on August 7.