Martin Lawrence Throwback Heads to Netflix

A Martin Lawrence classic is now available on Netflix. On Tuesday, Sept. 1, the streaming service released Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. The 2008 comedy stars Lawrence alongside other comedy heavy-hitters, including Cedric the Entertainer, Mo’Nique, and Mike Epps. Others featured in the film are Joy Bryant, Nicole Ari Parker, and James Earl Jones.

In the film, Lawrence stars as Roscoe Jenkins, a successful talk show host who’s discarded his southern roots but returns for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. He brings along his bourgeois fiance, Survivor winner Bianca Kittles, and his 10-year-old son to show off his new life and prove that he’s not the laughing stock of the family that he was as a child.

Throughout his return home, drama and embarrassment ensue. During a family sporting competition, he accidentally hits his mother in the head. He gets beaten up by his siblings after insulting them, faces blackmail from family members determined to leach off of him, and is sprayed by a skunk while sleeping. Bianca is also not a family favorite, with the family preferring his childhood love, Lucinda.

The most trouble is between Roscoe and his cousin Clyde, whom Roscoe harbors resentment toward for getting preferential treatment from his father, Roscoe Sr. By the end, Roscoe realizes what’s important and vows to be a more intricate part of the family.

Critics weren’t necessarily fans of the film. A review from The South Florida Sentinal reads in part:  “What will be the worst Martin Lawrence movie of the year? The competition is always fierce and it’s still early, but we may have a winner in “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.” A groundbreaking achievement in blandness, the film has nothing other than a few ethnic references to distinguish it from the next lazy family comedy from Steve Martin.”

Though the film received mostly negative reviews from critics, audiences loved it. The film grossed a little over $40 million by the end of its theatrical run. Several other films currently streaming on Netflix featuring Lawrence are also available, including, House Party and Do the Right Thing.

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