Keenen Ivory Wayans' nephew Damien makes his feature directorial debut with Dance Flick, the latest from a comedy factory even bigger and more confusing than Judd Apatow's. Let's see if I can get this straight. Keenen and his brother Damon Wayans started to break into showbiz in the early 1980s (apparently with some help from Eddie Murphy). Then Keenen wrote and directed the very funny blaxploitation spoof I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988), which featured roles for many of his siblings, plus one for a young Chris Rock. Then he created the terrific TV show "In Living Color" (1990), which, among its other accomplishments, boosted Jim Carrey's career. There were some other attempts at movies, most embarrassingly White Chicks (2004) and Little Man (2006), but their real bread and butter seemed to come from Sucka-like spoofs and parodies, starting with Scary Movie (2000).
I like that movie, and even its first two sequels have some memorable moments, but those films also inadvertently unleashed upon the world the screenwriting/directing team of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. Their creations Date Movie (2004), Epic Movie (2006), Meet the Spartans (2008) and Disaster Movie (2008) somehow made lots of money while being universally despised. (Don't ask me how Superhero Movie fits into this mix.) Fortunately Friedberg and Seltzer have nothing to do with Dance Flick, though it would be easy to make that mistake. Rather, no less than five Wayanses worked on the screenplay for this: Keenen, his brothers Shawn and Marlon, his cousin Craig and nephew Damien Wayans. And ten Wayanes appear in the acting credits. I can only imagine that the read-throughs and story conferences were funnier than the movie.