Just when you thought you were safe from yet another two-minute Saturday Night Live skit stretched into an hour and a half, along comes The Ladies Man. Tim Meadows stars as his SNL-based character, Leon Phelps, in this humorless, bottom-of-the-barrel film.
The Ladies Man boils down to nothing more than crass potty jokes, stupid one-liners, and a bottomless pit of corny scenes. Leon is a ’70’s dressing, Afro sporting, sweet talker in search of a rich mystery woman who sent him a letter declaring love and money. Breaking out his treasured black book, he starts on his quest for this ultimate lady. After a number of slaps in the face and reunions with some old flames (even a cameo by – get this – Julianne Moore. What the?) Leon learns a few things about women and grows as a person. Yes, even the dumbest of movies tries to have moral messages, as shallow and subtle as they may be. Throw in a band of jaded husbands who form an alliance to hunt down the womanizing Leon, and you’ve got yourself one thumping headache.
There are a few laughs to be had, but not enough to hold interest. Will Ferrell (Meadows’ SNL colleague) in particular provides some chuckles with a macho song and dance routine, and Lee Evans (There’s Something About Mary) keeps the ball rolling as another pathetic victim out to seek his revenge. Karyn Parsons (formerly of The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air) plays it straight as Leon’s friend Julie, and Billy Dee Williams makes an appearance as a local bar owner.
Though The Ladies Man is only eighty-seven minutes long, it felt like an eternity. Tim Meadows may be the The Ladies Man, but he is by far no leading man. He should have stuck it out on Saturday Night Live before quitting his day job to become a big movie star.
+ ashley adams