On paper, it reads like a perfect disaster: the director of How Stella Got Her Groove Back and writers of I Spy and National Security remaking the solemnly hollow and glibly provocative 1967 Oscar winner Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, starring Bernie Mac in Spencer Tracy's role and Ashton Kutcher as his would-be son-in-law, played in the original by Sidney Poitier. But to say it's better than it has any right to be gives the original too much credit and the remake not enough. This take breaks no ground, but at least it doesn't bury itself beneath so much proselytizing and posing; Mac doesn't dislike Kutcher just because he's white, but because he's clearly hiding something. Within its familiar framework reside some likable characters who dislike each other not because of race, but because they simply do not trust each other. It has heart and a little soul, too; there are no villains here, no bad guys to be humiliated and sent packing, only people trying to protect their own.