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In his new part-stand-up/part-documentary film, DysFunKtional Family, big-choppered comedian Eddie Griffin comes off like the kid who does bits from Richard Pryor records under the monkey bars to avoid getting beaten up. Most of his material—black people are different from white people, Michael Jackson is weird, women be shoppin’—is sure to go over easy with even the toughest of playground crowds, because it’s culled from every successful routine of the past 20 years. Griffin’s impressions seem to date from his junior-high years as well: We get Pryor, Prince, and yes, Bill Cosby as a pimp, with the obligatory pudding-pop zinger. It’s not that Griffin isn’t funny, though; he just gets most of his laughs with his squealing voice and outsized facial contortions. Griffin’s over-the-top delivery isn’t a necessary crutch only when director George Gallo shifts away from the tired stand-up material to the comedian’s bizarre family life. Segments shot in Griffin’s hometown of Kansas City, Mo., show porn-star aspirant Uncle Curtis leafing through his collection of, er, photographs, Uncle Bucky reflecting on his life as a hustler, and Griffin’s corporally punishing mom remembering her greatest hits. These interstitial scenes segue back to Griffin’s stage show (“Has anyone’s mother ever tried to run them over with the car?”), but often before the audience has really gotten to know the comedian’s family members. That’s too bad, because Bucky and Curtis both seem to be fascinating characters: Each has a debilitating vice or two but was clearly a beneficent influence on Griffin. It’s also startling to think that the filmmakers wanted so little of the comic slapping asses at his family reunion or breakin’ with the kids at his old junior high. Only in these candid moments does the kid in Griffin seem more endearing than cloying. —Josh Levin