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White Chicks (2004)

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Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans, ... | MARLON AND SHAWN WAYANS
Image credit: White Chicks: Joe Lederer
MARLON AND SHAWN WAYANS

Details Release Date: Jun 23, 2004; Rated: PG-13; Length: 105 Minutes; Genres: Action/Adventure, Comedy; With: Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans; Distributor: Columbia Pictures

Spending five hours a day in makeup and wardrobe to transform himself into a white woman posed some unique occupational hazards for star Marlon Wayans (''The Ladykillers''). ''There's nothing enjoyable about doing a 'tuck-back' every morning,'' he laments on the delicate process of keeping his, uh, twig and berries out of sight. ''I didn't want 'mammal toe''' -- the male version of camel toe, we can only assume -- ''so I did a tuck-back.'' Wayans plays Marcus Copeland, an undercover FBI agent posing as Tiffany, one of the titular chicks. Brother Shawn is Kevin, who poses as Tiff's sister, Brittany; the pair infiltrate the Hamptons debutante scene in order to uncover a kidnapping ring.

Wardrobe considerations aside, Wayans -- who cowrote the screenplay with siblings Shawn and Keenen Ivory, who also directs -- thinks the comedic possibilities of portraying spoiled heiresses called the Wilson sisters are endless. ''It's like 'Some Like It Hot' meets 'The Nutty Professor,''' says Marlon, who also cites the tabloidtastic Hilton sisters and Barbara Kopple's 2002 documentary ''The Hamptons'' as inspirations. ''We thought this would be a new way to flip the genre and bring our flavor to that kind of situational comedy. And who else better to do it than me and my crazy brothers?'' Busy Philipps (''Dawson's Creek''), who plays a member of the sisters' stuck-up posse, couldn't agree more: ''[The Wayanses] speak in a shorthand with each other,'' she says. ''It was very much the way I imagine a sitcom would work, because they're so comfortable with each other.'' Comfortable enough to thoroughly explore their feminine sides. ''As a black dude, I'm all right -- I ain't no Denzel, I'm not a stud,'' says Marlon. ''But as a white woman, I'm pretty damn sexy.''

THE GOOD NEWS Who doesn't love a send-up of the filthy rich?

THE BAD NEWS After ''Saturday Night Live'''s relentless Paris-bashing, is there really anything left to spoof?

Originally posted Apr 21, 2004 Published in issue #762-763 Apr 30, 2004 Order article reprints