An open letter to Martin Lawrence

Mar 12, 2008 at 12:00 am

Hey Marty,

Look, we all know times are tough out there and I know it's very hard to resist when fat, oily studio cats start waving juicy, zero-heavy paychecks in your face. I know a man has got to eat, but — come on! College Road Trip? Seriously? Now I don't want to pull a Maxim and review a movie I haven't seen, but based on all available evidence, do I need to? The trailer alone featured more mugging than Central Park circa 1975. Your co-star here is Raven-Symoné, a twentysomething actress whose day job is doing spit-takes to amuse preteens on Saturday morning, while desperately trying to scrunch her face up to remind people that she was once an adorable little Cosby kid. Worse, this smelly slab of "family friendly" distraction is coming hot on the heels of your spectacularly feeble disaster Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, a film that registered a total positive score of 25 out of 100 on review compendium Dude, George W. Bush has better numbers. And it's not just the critics, since Roscoe has been in theaters for four weeks and is just now barely breaking even. Both of your movies are likely to simultaneously end up in discount theaters, before flying into the 4-for-$20 bin at Blockbuster.

Did it have to come to this? Martin, you're only 42, yet you've managed to hit career lows it took Chevy Chase decades to sink to. Somehow you've become the black Jerry Lewis, except there's no friggin way the French are going to mistake you for a genius.

Martin! You were once considered "edgy," and "dangerous." It's difficult to remember now, but you were banned for life from Saturday Night Live for doing a nasty filthy routine about women's stanky parts. These days you're so inoffensive and mild, you couldn't get kicked out of an Applebee's. Even if you were doing a pale copy of Eddie Murphy's act, it was enough to give you more street cred than Superfly.

I know: You're not the only one, Ice-Cube has gone from diamond-hard gangsta to a sellout-soft, millionaire Mr. Rogers in a few short years, but some folks still like him. Hell, even Cuba Gooding went out and actually won an Oscar before he slipped into an endless hell of Snow Dogs and Daddy Day Camp.

I can't believe I'm saying it, but please, Martin, before it's too late, get back on the drugs. Throw a screaming fit, sexually harass a co-worker, slap a fool for getting lippy, do something, anything, before you wake up one morning on the set of Wild Hogs 3 and wonder. You'll be wondering, mister.

Sincerely yours,

Corey Hall