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'Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins'

It'd be redundant to describe a Martin Lawrence comedy as broad, so let's call it exuberant instead.

Roscoe Jenkins (Lawrence) is a tabloid-TV talk show host who takes his flashy, hard-driving fiancée (Joy Bryant as a Survivor-winner) home to meet his down-home Mama and Papa (Margaret Avery and James Earl Jones) — as well as a whole bunch of siblings, cousins, and hangers-on with whom he never really got along as a kid. She doesn't get along with them either, of course, which means the weekend turns into an obstacle course. Hijinks ensue, as do lo-jinks, and any other kind of jinks anyone on the set could come up with.

The initial idea is that Roscoe will film the family reunion for his TV show — and with Mo'Nique, Cedric the Entertainer, and Mike Epps on hand, there's a certain tabloid logic to that. But at some point, that plot thread gets dropped in favor of running a literal obstacle course, a gambit that ends up more frenetic than amusing. Bet it was fun on the set, though.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.