Browsing through Amazon's new VOD section I found this little hidden gem. What first caught my eye was a goofy-looking Tom Sizemore on the cover. When did he get out of jail/rehab? Anyway, I also recognized the guy that played opposite of Jack Black in Nacho Libre, Hector Jimenez.
Not expecting much but an hour or two of distraction from this likely mediocre movie I was delighted to have found a well-made and very funny film!
Cellmates stars Tom Sizemore who plays Leroy Lowe, a KKK leader sent to prison for tax evasion. He is first put into a cell with a fellow KKK member played by Kevin Farley, who is hilarious as the simpleton, Bubba. They get along "like two peas in a pod," but a sudden change of events pairs Leroy in a cell with immigrant farm laborer Emilio (a lovable and funny Hector Jimenez) who instantly riles Leroy's racial prejudices.
Leroy complains to the Warden (an impeccable Stacey Keach) but the Warden won't listen to Leroy's complaints. All he cares about are his prize-winning potatoes that are cultivated by his inmates.
After much (hilarious) conflict and fighting, Leroy and Emilio learn to get along and eventually become friends as Emilio helps Leroy win the love of the Warden's maid and Leroy helps Emilio write to the U.S. Justice Department for his wrongful imprisonment.
Everything from the acting to the directing and writing to the cinematography were excellent and were beyond what I was expecting from just seeing the cover. This is a genuinely funny and heartwarming movie that has intelligence, and bravely takes the taboo issues of race and immigration in the U.S. and makes them okay to acknowledge and even laugh at!