The Ladies Man
Tim Meadows' "Saturday Night Live" schtick about a seductive radio show host gets a less-than-irresistible feature treatment.
As in his "SNL" sketches, Meadows stars as afro-wearing, cognac-sipping love machine Leon Phelps, who uses his late-night talk program to dispense lewd advice on all things sexual. When his racy comments get him and his producer partner (Karyn Parsons) fired from their jobs, Leon attempts to track down a rich mistress to support him. Meanwhile, several of the countless husbands he has cuckolded with his nonstop philandering (including "SNL's" Will Ferrell) come looking to castrate him.
Meadows has his lovable, sweet-hearted character down cold, and he has no trouble maneuvering him through amusing variations of his '70s-style swinger act. When he has a truly inspired bit to dig into, such as when Leon tries to control his mouth while doing a show for a Christian radio station, he can be hilarious. Unfortunately such moments are rare in the film's flimsy script (co-written by Meadows, Dennis McNicholas and Andrew Steele). Of the supporting players, only the serial ham Ferrell gets the chance to shine occasionally as a married wrestling enthusiast in denial about his homoerotic attraction to the sport.
The routine work of Reginald Hudlin ("House Party") does little to distinguish this effort from the many other mediocre "SNL" tie-in flicks already weighing down video store shelves. The comedy stays above water as long as Meadows' grinning face is in the frame, but the director's efforts to generate laughs with other elements of the story invariably come up flat. A musical number that grows out of the angry husbands' search for Leon is particularly painful to sit through.
This lusty "Ladies Man" strikes out.