Coffee & Kareem
By James Davidson
“Coffee & Kareem” is a new movie starring Ed Helms and Taraji P. Henson, that exclusively is available on the popular streaming service Netflix. Ed Helms stars as police officer James Coffee who has started a new romantic relationship with Vanessa Manning (played by Henson). Unfortunately, Vanessa’s twelve year old son, Kareem (played by Terrance Little Gardenhigh) doesn’t approve of the new relationship, and hires a known gangster to try to scare Coffee away. Kareem’s plan backfires and both Coffee and Kareem find themselves on the run and trying to save the most important woman in their lives from a vicious criminal.
I was expecting this movie to be a little ridiculous and worth a few laughs. I really enjoy most of Ed Helms work, so I was hoping that this movie would be no exception. While Helm’s performance was a bright spot in the film, it was one of the only shining moments in an otherwise lackluster movie.
While Helm’s performance carried the movie, his chemistry with the other main actors left much to be desired. I never really believed that Coffee and Manning were serious as a romantically involved couple, there was just no connection, or chemistry between the characters. Coffee and Kareem’s relationship was just as curdled. There was very little real connection between any of the characters, which I think really hurt the film from the beginning.
The plot itself was fairly simple and straightforward, the filmmakers kept the story, and most of the humor simple and fundamental. The one issue I had with the humor and parts of the plot was, there seemed to be a lot of vulgar humor and violence that was unnecessary. Kareem especially seemed very fond of a lot of vulgar language that seemed forced into the movie for the sake of making it “edgy”. There was also a lot of violence and gore that I thought felt forced in the film and the story could have done better without.
I did enjoy some of the humor that didn’t feel forced. There were a lot of situational jokes that made me laugh. I feel like I would have laughed a lot more if the writers hadn’t seemed so focused on getting an “R” rating or “shocking” the audience with vulgar humor however. The parts that seemed more natural though were pretty funny and I did chuckle through a good bit of this film. Helm’s performance specifically was amusing.
This movie is rated TV-MA and is recommended for mature audiences only. As I mentioned earlier, there is quite a bit of vulgar language, as well as some adult situations and violence in this movie that will make it inappropriate for younger audiences. If you enjoy silly, ridiculous comedies, and don’t mind a bit of adult humor, this is a great movie to watch with a friend or significant other while you are stuck in the house. It’s worth a few laughs and has a simple plot that is easy to follow and doesn’t need a lot of concentration to watch. It’s a great movie to unwind with after a long day.
“Coffee & Kareem” is a simple comedy that has a few good jokes and some decent situational humor. Some of the character relationships could use some refining, but other than that, the acting is decent and funny. Some of the humor and adult situations seem shoehorned in for shock value or just to get an “R” rating. While it might not be the best comedy you can watch, if you’re a comedy fan this movie is worth a few laughs and you will probably enjoy it. It’s a decent movie to unwind with, or just pass some time on an otherwise dull night. I probably won’t watch it again, but I do think it’s worth seeing at least once. It earns 3 out of 5 stars.