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'DysFunKtional Family'

Friday, April 04, 2003

By Barbara Vancheri, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Rare is the standup comedian who doesn't dabble in blue language or routines today.

'DysFunKtional Family'

RATING: R for strong sexual content, language and drug-related humor

STARRING: Eddie Griffin

DIRECTOR: George Gallo

WEB SITE: www.dysfunktional_family.com


Local movie showtimes


In "DysFunKtional Family," Eddie Griffin doesn't just dabble, he sometimes drowns and he pulls us under with him. That's not to say he isn't funny at times, but he peppers his speech with the N-word and a certain 12-letter word the way the rest of us lean on "Um" or "Uh" in conversations.

Griffin, a comic actor whose credits include "Undercover Brother" and "The New Guy" along with UPN's "Malcolm & Eddie," is shown in two very different but interrelated venues. The movie mixes concert footage, culled from two sold-out shows in Chicago, with documentary footage of Griffin back in his Kansas City, Mo., stomping grounds.

Mixed in with jokes about Osama bin Laden, racial profiling, drink, drugs, slavery, sex, churchgoers and dogs vs. cats are recollections about the time his mother tried to run him over with her car, his Uncle Curtis' passion for porn, Uncle Bucky's one-time drug habit and how Griffin was 16 before he met his father. It's at this point that his mother, sitting in the front row, shakes her head and looks as if she wishes he'd not go there.

One coarse bit about bedroom behavior goes over the edge, and while the audience convulses with laughter, his mother gets that disapproving look and she isn't the only one. As much as I admire Griffin's no-holds-barred approach to comedy and how he made it from high school class clown to L.A. star, I wish he would exercise a little restraint on the really raunchy stuff.

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