In the Mix: Saeed Adyani
November 30, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

In the Mix

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
PG-13
runtime
97 minutes
Wide Release Date
11/23/05
performer
Usher, Kevin Hart, Chazz Palminteri
director
Ron Underwood
distributor
Lions Gate Films
genre
Mystery and Thriller, Romance, Comedy
We gave it a C

A genially cruddy B movie can sometimes go places — sort of — that bigger movies won’t. Usher, the teen idol who’s like a black version of Justin Timberlake’s white version of a Michael Jackson knockoff, struts through In the Mix as a chick magnet of a DJ who is forced to play bodyguard to a mobster’s daughter (the very hot Emmanuelle Chriqui). While Chazz Palminteri chews the ziti as the mobster, the bodyguard and his charge act on their attraction, and the various anonymous dangers become the film’s projection of racial-erotic anxiety. In essence, In the Mix explores the question: Will Usher get offed for sleeping with a white girl? The film gets props for the fact that the two end up in bed in the first place, yet Usher, who has a squinty charm, is forced to display an infinite polite chivalry that would have shamed Sidney Poitier. He also wins over the lady he’s protecting by feeding her soul food, which results in the year’s single most embarrassing romantic howler: ”Must have been the collard greens that made me lose control!”

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