Are We There Yet? is a 2005 American–Canadian road family comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Ice Cube. It was produced by Revolution Studios and distributed by Columbia Pictures. Although it was panned by critics, it grossed $82 million in North America alone and sold 3.7 million DVDs.
The film, while set in Portland, Oregon, Vancouver, BC and other parts of the Pacific Northwest, was mostly shot on location in and around Vancouver, including a view of the Lions' Gate Bridge, the financial district skyscrapers and the downtown scene near the film's conclusion. A sequel, Are We Done Yet?, was released in 2007, and a television series featuring the film's main characters premiered in 2010.
Plot[edit | edit source]
The film opens up on Christmas night in Portland, Oregon, where a man appears outside of a decorated house with flowers. On his way to the door, however, he falls into several traps and is left a mess. The culprit of these traps are revealed to be a girl and boy named Lindsey and Kevin Kingston (Aleisha Allen and Philip Daniel Bolden), whose mother has divorced their father. The two are determined to keep her single until the two reconcile.
The film then introduces Nick Persons (Ice Cube), a 35-year-old child-hating bachelor/businessman, as he purchases an expensive SUV (a 2004 Lincoln Navigator) and boasts with his beloved bobble-head of Satchel Paige (voiced by Tracy Morgan), who comes to life at its own will – though only Nick can see/hear him. When he reaches his Fine Sports Collectibles shop, he witnesses the woman of his dreams, Suzanne Kingston (Nia Long). On his way to talk with her, however, he is disgusted to find that she has two kids, Lindsey and Kevin. Later that night, he runs into her on his way home, asking for a jump start as her car had broken down. After receiving an electric shock, he agrees to take her home, and once there, agrees to transport her wherever she needs to go. On New Year's Eve, he brings her to an airport to go to Vancouver for a business meeting, but her ex-husband calls to say he's sick and cannot bring the children to the airport, leaving her to put her trust in Nick.
Once at her house, he meets Kevin and Lindsey for the second time and gives them "gifts" (a pizza coupon for Lindsey and a corkscrew for Kevin). They go to the airport, when Kevin accidentally damages Nick's car door, where Nick is beaten after Kevin learns that corkscrews are illegal to bring on planes and ditches the item in Nick's jacket pocket. They then decide to use a train, where the two kids jump off the train to collect a missing item from Kevin's doll just as Nick boards. This results in them losing their luggage. They then reluctantly decide to drive. Believing Nick is only a friend to their mother, the kids are tamed, but still misbehave and show Nick little respect. At a truck stop, the two learn from one of Nick's friends that he not only hates the two, but lied about not having feelings about their mother. They then show much less restraint and cause mayhem throughout the trip; hijacking Nick's car, injuring Nick, signaling to truck driver Al Buck (M. C. Gainey) that they have been kidnapped by Nick (resulting in heavy damage to his car startling Nick), and ultimately running away to visit their father.
Once they get there, however, they learn that their father has not only moved on, but has made a new family with a baby whose age seems to outmatch their parents divorce. Discovering their father's betrayal and abandonment, they warm up to Nick, as he does with them, when he tells them that he, too, was abandoned by his father. Along the rest of the trip, the three still find themselves in several mishaps, but each setback only strengthens their relationship. However, their bond is ultimately tested when Nick's navigator is set ablaze and explodes. He angrily blames the kids but calms down, reinstates it and apologizes immediately afterwards.
The trio try to hitch a ride from Al Buck, but he leaves Nick behind and drives off, still thinking Nick is a kidnapper. But luckily the kids attack Al and beat him up in the truck and they escape, leading to a chase that ends when in Vancouver, where Nick fights Al, along with several men dressed as snowmen. During the fight, Kevin suddenly gets an asthma attack and collapses. Nick rushes to his aid with the inhaler and is able to revive him. Witnessing the event, Suzanne believes trusting Nick was a mistake. After encouragement from Satchel, Nick goes to Suzanne's hotel to tell her and the kids farewell for good. After Suzanne realizes how much Nick has grown to care for Kevin and Lindsey and vice versa, Suzanne realizes that Nick is the one for her and kiss on New Years during the fireworks at Lindsey's suggestion.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Ice Cube as Nicholas "Nick" Persons, a smooth-talking, child-hating bachelor and the main protagonist.
- Nia Long as Suzanne Kingston, a divorced single mother.
- Aleisha Allen as Lindsey Kingston, Suzanne's bratty, clever and antagonistic thirteen-year-old daughter.
- Philip Daniel Bolden as Kevin Kingston, Suzanne's asthmatic, immature son and Lindsey's eight-year-old brother.
- Jay Mohr as Marty, Nick's best friend.
- M. C. Gainey as Al Buck (known as "Big Al"), a well-meaning truck driver who thinks Nick has kidnapped the children.
- Tracy Morgan as Satchel Page Bobblehead (voice), Nick's prized possession and confidant who speaks to him through his conscience.
- David Barclay as Satchel Page Bobblehead (puppeteer)
- C. Ernst Harth as Ernst, a truck driver who helps Nick save the kids from Big Al.
- Nichelle Nichols as Miss Mable, Kevin and Lindsey's babysitter.
- Sean Millington as Frank Kingston, Kevin and Lindsey's father who abandoned his family some time ago before the events of the film and Kevin and Lindsay discover that he has a new wife and son.
- Henry Simmons as Carl, Suzanne's date who was scared off by Kevin and Lindsay.