Texas Cheer Leader
Hard nosed Texas Ranger, Roland Sharp (Tommy Lee Jones - The Hunted), is on the trail of a man who could provide enough evidence to bring down one of the countries big crime bosses. When his partner gets shot and an FBI agent gets wounded, things go horribly wrong. The only witnesses to the crime are a group of 5 university cheerleaders who could now be under threat from the crime boss. So Sharp must now go undercover as an assistant cheerleading coach and move in with the young women to protect them.
Well with the comedy, "Man of the House" starring Tommy Lee Jones, I was sure that this film was going to be enjoyable and I wasn't wrong, although I wouldn't say it was brilliant. The film has so much potential, with one of Hollywood's renowned tough guys stuck with a group of young girls, but sadly it fails to deliver on every opportunity. I'm not saying that this film is bad, as there are numerous scenes which capitalize on this scenario, none more than when they give him a make over, but it just isn't gut wrenching funny.
The actual crime part of the storyline pales into insignificance as for the majority of the film it concentrates on the relationship between Roland and the cheerleaders. This is quite a good concept and although it works well, starts to become a little predictable and tiresome towards the end of the film. Even the surprise romance between Roland and a tutor is poorly worked and is basically their as only a filler. Probably the biggest problem with the plot or in reality the film is the lack if another adult figure for Tommy Lee Jones to play off of. As a straight man with a dry sense of humour he is brilliant but he does need another comedy talent for this to work at its best.
With the lead role of Texas Ranger, Roland Sharp going to Tommy Lee Jones I find it very hard to criticise his performance. Not because he is one of my favourite actors but because he does not really do anything wrong in this film. He does what he is good at; he plays it straight with the occasional laugh, very similar to the way he played it in Men in Black. To be honest, he is perfect for this role, as putting one of the supposedly grumpy men of Hollywood into the hands of a group of teenagers is brilliant casting as he suffers having to put up with their skimpy clothes, women problems and a very funny makeover.
All the cheerleaders are great with a decent range of different characters, from one being totally girly, to another being emotional and another who is a bit of a tomboy. As a unit they work very well, but sadly in scenes where they are one on one with Jones they seem completely out of their depth. The only other character worth a mention is that of Percy, an ex-convict who has turned to a life in the church. Although, the character only has 3 scenes, the performance by Cedric the Entertainer is brilliant. In the scenes which feature him, he steals the show with some self defacing humour, no more so when he puts on his old cheerleading outfit, yes I did say his, and attempts a dance off against the cheerleaders.
Directed by Stephen Herek, who has brought such greats as "Bill & Teds excellent adventure" as well as the slightly lack lustre "The Holy Man", it was always going to be hit or miss on whether he would do a good job. Although I would like to say he did a good job, I just feel that maybe in the hands of another director, we would have seen a film which was gut wrenchingly funny. In the scenes where he has got it right, you can't but help laugh but sadly there are too many scenes where he has left you wanting.
The soundtrack is one of the highlights of the film, which actually helps to lift this film from being terrible. It has a wide range of pieces from some toe tapping rock numbers through to a couple of dance numbers. One of the soundtrack highlights goes alongside one of the funniest scenes and involves the song "Dancing Queen" by Abba.
What this all boils down to is that "Man of the House" is basically an enjoyable and fun film, but sadly lacks that killer punch which would make it brilliant, in affect making it average. The plot and the performances are all very good, but unfortunately the direction lets it down, as it never capitalizes on scenes which could have you in tears and at times seems in a bit of a rush to get to the next one before it finishes off the one it is on.