IT’S A HARD KNOCK LIFE.
Wealthy businessman William Stacks (Jamie Foxx) is running for mayor of New York City; in order to come across as more likable he invites a 10-year-old foster child (Quvenzhané Wallis) in Harlem to live with him. An updated version of the Broadway musical, with new arrangements of the old songs (by Sia and Greg Kurstin), and a few new ones. The cast isn’t bad, with the possible exception of Cameron Diaz as the drunken orphanage manager (Carol Burnett did broad comedy better), but the story of this musical never was very good. Comes alive during some of the numbers though.
2014-U.S. 118 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Jay Brown, Will Gluck, James Lassiter, Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Caleeb Pinkett, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Tyran Smith. Directed by Will Gluck. Song: “Opportunity” (Sia, Will Gluck, Greg Kurstin). Cast: Jamie Foxx (William Stacks), Quvenzhané Wallis (Annie Bennett), Rose Byrne (Grace Farrell), Bobby Cannavale, Cameron Diaz, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. Cameos: Rihanna, Sia, Patricia Clarkson, Ashton Kutcher, Michael J. Fox, Mila Kunis.
Trivia: Originally intended as a vehicle for co-producer Will Smith’s daughter Willow. Justin Timberlake and Sandra Bullock were allegedly considered for roles.
Razzie: Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel.