I already know exactly what I’m doing when I get home: laying on the couch and watching Naked on Netflix. The new film was executive produced by and stars Marlon Wayans. And honestly, that’s all I need to know about it in order to commit. The Wayans family has been a constant force in the world of comedy for decades. I’ve spent my entire life watching the eldest five of the 10 siblings — Keenan, Damon, Kim, Shawn, and Marlon — undertake numerous projects from movies, shows, and stand-up. But Marlon, often alongside Shawn, has always been at the forefront of the comedic hits I could call my own.
The duo created and starred in the ‘90s sitcom The Wayans Bros., which joined shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin in the golden era of Black TV. Shawn played the attractive, charismatic older brother to Marlon, who was silly and irresponsible. They both worked at the newsstand that Shawn owned. And to this day, I can still recite pretty much every word to the first two movies in the Scary Movie franchise, in which they parodied popular horror movies of the time. Starring Regina Hall and Anna Faris, the franchise took advantage of the adage that “a Black person would never…” in order to reimagine the typical series of unfortunate events in the horror genre. And despite what Rotten Tomatoes has to say, White Chicks is a
problematic classic that uses comedy to explore race and the complicated relationship between white women and Black men in a pre-Get Out era.
The Wayans family has subtly committed itself to creating content that reflects the Black experience. They use Black joy to acknowledge Black pain in both the real world and in entertainment. Marlon has kept this tradition alive with his own parodies, the A Haunted House franchise and Fifty Shades Of Black. He also created a comedy competition show and helped launch What the Funny, an online site for urban comedy. Next week, he will debut his own self-titled sitcom where he plays young-spirited father.
Now with Naked, Marlon is remaking the Swedish film Naken (2000) for American audiences. He will play the main character who, on the day of his wedding, wakes up naked in an elevator. Not only does he have to figure out how he got there, the day keeps repeating itself over and over again. It also stars Scott Foley and Regina Hall. It already looks hilarious in that borderline corny way that only the Wayans can pull off. Even if Naked is terrible, the pure nostalgia of it will make it worth it.