Cookout, The (2004) - Synopsis
Todd Anderson is chosen as the #1 NBA draft pick by the New Jersey Nets and signs a contract for thirty million dollars that instantly changes his life. Whether he likes it or not his mom, Lady Em played by Jenifer Lewis, is not going to let her son forget his roots. Todd is at a crossroads and with his new found wealth becomes vulnerable to the influence of other people. Todd buys a new house and mistakenly invites family from the old neighborhood for a cookout on the same day he scheduled an endorsement interview. The cookout is a family tradition more extravagant than the typical American dinner gathering because it's like a giant reunion and all havoc breaks loose for the feast of Southern home cooking.
As the new black man living in a stuffy white neighborhood, Todd attracts a lot of attention. Queen Latifah is the eccentric security guard that makes matters worse for Todd. She's poised to bust him if any of the neighborhood association's myriad of rules gets broken. Unfortunately for Todd as the family arrives, the rules get broken. Peeping neighbors are drawn to and gawk at the group of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and wild unidentified babies in diapers. One particular neighbor – a conservative Republican Judge Crowley, played by Danny Glover, fears the worst with Todd’s arrival. Todd becomes so focused on his image that he is embarrassed about his family. Meanwhile, Bling Bling and Wheezer, two good-for-nothing toughs, crash the party and hold Todd’s girlfriend at gunpoint in order to get him to autograph his sneakers. Little do they know this family is so determined to eat that they are fearless of the criminals that invade the cookout. The chaos caused by the hoodlums helps Todd realize how much he needs his family support and it's clear that the Cookout is a family tradition that always brings the right people together.