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THE HONEYMOONERS

About The Production
Cedric the Entertainer, star of "Barbershop" and "The Original Kings of Comedy," brings his universal appeal to the role of Ralph Kramden, a man with big dreams, a guff exterior, and a soft heart. Cedric describes his character: "Ralph an ordinary guy trying to do the bedst he can for his wife and family. But, of course, he gets it all wrong.”

"He has dreams of grandeur and truly believes that one day he'll be top of the heap,” Cedric continues. "Like most people, he never really gets there. But he's dedicated to the love of this woman, and in the end, he figures it out”

Bringing that element of heart to the film was important to Cedric. "There's a lot of laughs in ‘The Honeymooners,' but it's all based in reality and all stemming from this relationship,” he says. "Ralph's got a lot of crazy ideas, but it's all for something you can get behind.”

John Schultz, who previously directed the comedy "Like Mike,” notes that Ralph's everyman quality endears him to the audience. "Ralph, like everybody, dreams of &me and fortune. Ralph just takes it a little too far,” he says. "He's got an amazing wife and her dreams —a little house in the suburbs — are within reach. What Ralph doesn't realize is that Alice doesn't need the very best that life has to offer — she just needs him.”

"Ralph Kramden is just trying to get a better life for his family,” says producer David Friendly, who also produced "Big Momma's House” and "Dr. Dolittle.” "It all goes back to the ‘American dream.' As Americans, we feel enormous pressure to do better for ourselves; we're always comparing ourselves with our neighbors, but when push comes to shove, we all know that to love and to be loved are the most important things. Ralph's struggle to figure out that balance forms the bedrock of his character.”

That balance is never simple for Ralph to find, as he looks for easy ways to have it all. "Ralph is his own worst enemy when it comes to these plans to get rich quick,” adds Friendly, "but the truth of it is that it doesn't really matter; the important thing is that he's trying.”

Of course, when Ralph's eager mind matches with the easygoing, can-do attitude of his best friend, Ed Norton. it's a recipe for comic disaster. "You have to understand: Ralph's aggression comes from frustration — he always seems to have his back up against the wall and he always has to fight his way out of a corner,” says Cedric. "So he puts that on the next person, who mostly turns out to be Norton. Norton is a quintessential best friend; he's a quirky sort of guy and you wonder how these two guys ever got to be friends.”

Mike Eppe plays Norton. In describing the relationship between Norton and Ralph, Epps notes that Ed, absurdly. becomes Ralph's conscience. "Ralph is much more straightforward and serious than Ed. who is a bit more of a joker. But Norton is always there to remind him what's going on, what he's doing. where Ralph's going wrong.”

Schultz notes that the comedy of "The Honeymooners” stems not from impossible circumstances, but the pairing of these two characters — two guys drawn from life who are doing their best in real-life situations. "One of the rules we stuck by is that these guys can be really funny, but they also have to be totally believable,” says Schultz. "Everything that happens in this movie must be possible in real life. We aren't relying on a high concept or on gross-out jokes; the humor is in getting to know the characters and their fruits. It's a comedy driven by great characters.”

Crucial to realizing the filmmakers' goal of finding the comedy in the two couples' real-life misadventures was casting Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps in the key roles of Ralph Kramden and Ed Norton.

"Cedric is a big, larger than life guy — a real character — who also has great spirit and warmth. You instantly like th

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