The Reel Story: Current box-office champ “Are We There Yet?” tells the story of Nick Persons, a sports-memorabilia store owner/ confirmed bachelor/ ladies’ man who — not surprisingly — isn’t big on children.
However, when Nick meets beautiful divorcee and mother of two Suzanne (Nia Long), he finds himself reconsidering his feelings about kids. In the early stages of their romance, Nick and Suzanne don’t spend much time with her children, as 11-year-old Lindsey (Aleisha Allen) and 8-year-old Kevin (Philip Daniel Bolden) are hellbent on undermining anyone their mom is interested in. And they’re not above attempting that big-screen staple of kid booby traps: the walkway covered with marbles.
Of course, the kids and Nick can’t avoid one another forever, and these combustible elements are brought together when Nick takes the kids on a trip to visit their mom on a business trip. During the journey, hijinks and comedy ensue (planes are missed, luggage is lost, SUVs are trashed, and Nick ends up covered in vomit).
It’s all fairly familiar Hollywood comedy ground, but this time around the victim is none other than a crazy OG homey named Ice Cube. Yes, that Ice Cube. One of the original members of N.W.A — the trailblazing hip-hop group that brought us “Straight Outta Compton” and “F— Tha Police” — and one of the stars of the R-rated “Boyz N the Hood” and “Three Kings.” Yup, that guy is at the center of this family comedy (and on the receiving end of a whole lot of grief at the hands of two kids). This got us wondering: How would the real Cube handle two out-of-line kids?
The Real Story: Turns out Ice Cube is a seasoned family man. Yes, the artist formerly known as O’Shea Jackson burst onto the music scene 16 years ago as an MC with N.W.A and found success in the ’90s as a solo artist with controversial albums like AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted and Death Certificate. And yes, after going platinum many times over, Cube turned to acting, writing and, more recently, producing films. His Cube Vision production company is behind “Are We There Yet?,” “Friday” and “Friday After Next.”
But it turns out that one of the hardest men in hip-hop has another side. Happily married for 12 years to Kim Jackson, 35-year-old Cube is a father to four children ages 4, 10, 13 and 18. And while Cube grew up in South Central Los Angeles, he had a stable family life and attended the Phoenix Institute of Technology after high school. Brian Levant, who directed Cube as a reluctant family man in the PG-rated “Are We There Yet?,” told USA Today that “the character is a lot closer to who he is in real life.”
Ah, Doughboy, we hardly knew ye.
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