Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Richard Benjamin|
|Produced by||Scott Rudin|
|Written by||Paul Rudnick|
|Music by||Mervyn Warren|
|Edited by||Jacqueline Cambas|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$1.7 million|
Marci X is a 2003 American romantic comedy film directed by Richard Benjamin, written by Paul Rudnick, and starring Lisa Kudrow as Jewish-American Princess Marci Feld, who has to take control of a hip-hop record label, as well as the controversial rapper Dr. S, played by Damon Wayans. The film received negative reviews and failed to chart in the top 10 when it was released on August 22, 2003 in the US, where it grossed only $875,000 on the weekend.
Marci Feld, a spoiled Jewish-American princess, is forced to take control of her father Ben's hardcore rap label Felony Assault when he suffers a stress-induced heart attack due to the controversy surrounding the label's release of "Shoot Ya' Teacha" by Dr. S. To rescue her father's plummeting stock, Marci attempts to tone down the rapper's bad-boy image. Over time, the unlikely pair falls in love just as conservative senator Mary Ellen Spinkle vows to banish Dr. S and his offensive lyrics from the airwaves forever.
- Lisa Kudrow as Marci Feld
- Damon Wayans as Dr. S
- Richard Benjamin as Ben Feld
- Jane Krakowski as Lauren Farb
- Christine Baranski as Mary Ellen Spinkle
- Paula Garcés as Yolanda Quinones
- Charles Kimbrough as Lane Strayfield
- Veanne Cox as Caitlin Mellowitz
- Sherie Rene Scott as Kirsten Blatt
- Nashawn Kearse as Quantrelle
- Billy Griffith as Tubby Fenders
- Andrew Keenan-Bolger as Chip Spinkle
- Matthew Morrison as Boyz R Us Member
- Gerry Becker as Dr. Skellar
- Bruce Altman as Stan Dawes
- Walter Bobbie as Walt Seldon
- Mustafa Shakir as Engine Trouble
- Kaity Tong as Herself
- Jim Watkins as Himself
- Mary Murphy as Herself
- Zach Tyler Eisen as Boy
- Alexandra Neil as Auction Woman
- Mimi Weddell as Auction Woman
- Mary Hart as Herself
- Hassan Johnson as Tinfoil
- Jade Yorker as Teenager
- Queen Esther as Audience Member
- Dean Edwards as Audience Member
- Lisa Emery as Parent
- Ted Sutton as Chuck Farley
- Erik LaRay Harvey as Stage Manager
- Myk Watford as Police Officer
- Nancy Opel as Reporter
- Jack Koenig as Reporter
Marci X earned $872,950 in its opening weekend, ranking #18 in the North American box office from 1,200 venues. The film grossed $1,648,818 at the North American box office, and $26,888 overseas for a worldwide total of $1,675,706. Based on a $20 million budget, the film was a box office bomb.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a 8% approval score based on 59 reviews, with an average rating of 2.9/10. The site's consensus states: "The material is too thin for feature-length, and the jokes are socially outdated and clueless." Metacritic reports a 20 out of 100 rating, based on 17 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".
Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe felt the film had "no idea what to make of black people or hip-hop culture", noting how Rudnick's script is filled with "half-hearted structuring" and is "exasperating in its enervated, politically toothless jabs." He concluded that Marci X is "just clueless and sad, seemingly having missed the point that hip-hop is no longer a novelty to be slapped on the cheek with a white glove." Nathan Rabin of The A.V. Club also criticized Rudnick's scripting of the film for being "a series of skit ideas strung together", and felt that Wayans was "woefully miscast as a charismatic thug." He concluded by calling it "the year's most misguided culture-clash comedy." The Austin Chronicle's Marjorie Baumgarten felt the premise was filled with "possibilities for good culture-clash humor à la Rock 'n' Roll High School," but played everything straightforward, saying that it "exudes the familiar stench of stale comedy routinely tossed into theatres by the studios in the dog days of August when no one’s really looking anyway." Ed Gonzalez from Slant Magazine said, "Marci X is a sketch comedy that misses more than it hits. And not unlike Danny DeVito's Death to Smoochy, the worst thing that can be said about it is that it's a good decade too late." Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle called it "a dishonest satire that manages to be (disingenuously) contemptuous of white people and (unintentionally) condescending toward black people, without ever being funny." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post derided the movie for being dull in its material about "uptight white people getting jiggy with it", and its jabs at both rich people and hip hop musicians, concluding that "Marci X gives Gigli a run for its money as the summer’s worst movie."
The film received some positive reviews. Armond White praised the film's satire of its subject matter, saying it "sarcastically tackles hip hop sanctimony at a time in which it should be ripe for debunking." He also gave note of the performances of Wayans and Kudrow, saying that "Both these experienced comic performers understand that comedy respects no sacred cows. They are merciless in their satirical routines out of respect for the truth of human behavior." Jonathan Rosenbaum from the Chicago Reader said, "It's no masterpiece, but I found it consistently good-hearted and sometimes hilarious, and the sparse crowd I saw it with was laughing as much as I was, especially at the outrageous rap numbers." Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum commended the movie for being a "lighter-than-Bulworth commentary on class, politics, and art" despite feeling "disconnected from its own objects of ridicule", calling it "a talent-stuffed assemblage of barbs and giddy musical numbers that shouldn’t be written off as a feature flop — but savored instead for the cult-ready collection of late-night satirical skits and misses it is."
- "Marci X (2003)". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. September 18, 2003. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- "Weekend Box Office Results for August 22-24, 2003". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. August 25, 2003. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- "Marci X (2003)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- "Marci X reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved November 19, 2016.
- Morris, Wesley (August 23, 2003). "'Marci X' doesn't know hip from hop". The Boston Globe. Boston.com. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Rabin, Nathan (August 26, 2003). "Marci X". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Baumgarten, Marjorie (August 29, 2003). "Marci X". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Gonzalez, Ed (January 27, 2004). "Marci X". Slant Magazine. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- LaSalle, Mick (August 23, 2003). "An equal-opportunity mess / 'Marci' has an insult for everyone". San Francisco Chronicle. Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Lumenick, Lou (August 23, 2003). "Have 'Marci' On Everybody In This Disaster". New York Post. News Corp. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- White, Armond (August 29, 2003). "Africana Reviews: Marci X". Africana. Archived from the original on August 31, 2003. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Marci X". Chicago Reader. Sun-Times Media Group. Archived from the original on October 17, 2003. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
- Schwarzbaum, Lisa (September 5, 2003). "Marci X". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved April 6, 2018.