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Made In America Review

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Zora (Long) knows her mother. Her mother is Afrocentric widow, Sarah (Goldberg). However Sarah never knew her father and once she discovers she was artificially inseminated, sets off to find him. Having expected an intellectual, strong black man, it comes as a shock to Zora to find Hal (Danson) is her rightful father.

★★★★★

The premise for this daft comedy is as slight as they come, but it's hard to dislike such a sweet and light-hearted affair when it revolves around the two pleasing personalities of Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Danson.

Goldberg's Sarah is the proud, right-on proprietor of an Afrocentric book­shop and the widowed mother of a bright teenager (Nia Long), who through implausible circumstances learns she is the result of artificial insem­ination. Even more implausibly, she and her pal Tea Cake (Smith) hack into the sperm bank's records, discover the I.D. of her biological dad and track him down in the hope of creating a bond. Yeah, right. The central gag and chief selling point, of course, is that, to Sarah's outrage, the man is not the black, smart, not-too-tall sperm donor she ordered but the white, asinine, tall (Danson), a car salesman who dresses like a cowpoke and does TV commercials with an identically-dressed chimp.

Assuming that the prospective viewer is all for Whoopi and Ted already, these comedy pros dive right into the sticky nonsense with enough grace and charm to stay afloat — no negligible feat since the developments prove ever more corny and cutesy — down to the good ole climactic crisis contrived to bring everyone tear­fully together.

Director Richard Benjamin is also enough of a pro to keep things moving, pepping up the relayshunship hooey with some jolly antics and lively support from, among others, Jennifer Tilly as Hal's aerobicising bimbo. No classic, then, but likeably cute in that they-hate-each-other-ergo-they-must-be-made-for-each-other school of romantic comedy.

This comedy holds few surprises, bar the realisation that Hal is Zora's father. After that it's dysfunctional family comedy all the way. But this proves to be no bad thing. Goldberg and Danson handle the material with their usual panache, while a young Smith gives a steady post-Fresh Prince supporting role.

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