The premise of Sextuplets, a comedy now streaming on Netflix, sounds just strange enough to have been ripped from the headlines. Marlon Wayans stars as six siblings (yes, six) separated at birth who reconnect when one of them begins searching for his birth family. The premise sounds like a TLC show waiting to happen, and for a moment I wondered if Sextuplets is based on a true story. After all, sextuplets do happen, and the documentary Three Identical Strangers highlighted a set of triplets who were each adopted as infants by different families.
However, this movie is definitely a work of fiction, which, frankly, should be a relief to everyone. Sextuplets was written by Mike Glock, Rick Alvarez, and Wayans and directed by Michael Tiddes — making this the fifth film Tiddes and Wayans have worked on together. (Tiddes, by the way, referred to Sextuplets as The Nutty Professor on steroids, in an interview with BET.com, if that tells you anything.) The movie also reunites Wayans with Bresha Webb, who starred with him on the sitcom Marlon back in the day.
Wayans plays expectant dad, Alan, on a mission to find his birth mother before he becomes a father himself. In his search for his biological family, Alan meets his brother Russell and discovers that he was actually born a sextuplet. So, naturally, Alan and Russell embark on a journey to meet their other four siblings: Ethan, Baby Pete, Dawn, and Jaspar.
One last reunion Sextuplets brought about was between Wayans and Netflix itself — since Wayans previously worked with the streamer for his stand-up special, Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish.
"Excited to be in business with Netflix on yet another project," he said in a statement as reported by Deadline. "I love how they embrace comedy and diversity. I am looking forward to doing the thing I love most… comedy."
Alvarez added, "Ever since we received the script from Nathan Reimann, Marlon and I have considered this movie a labor of love. Couldn’t be happier to team up once again with Mike Tiddes and Netflix." It sounds like the project is a fit for all involved.
In the same interview with BET.com, Wayans acknowledged the obvious comparison to The Nutty Professor, in which Eddie Murphy played six different members of the same family. "It’s crazy. I have so much respect for anybody that’s ever gotten in this makeup to do this. Eddie Murphy should have won an Oscar for The Nutty Professor. When I seen him at the table playing six people, that blew my mind as a grown ass man," he said. But that's not to say that Sextuplets does precisely the same thing as that famous dinner table scene. In Sextuplets, Wayans explains, the characters are physically interacting with each other.
So actually, there is very little about this movie that is based in any kind of reality. But is that really why anybody goes to see a Marlon Wayans comedy? Yep, I didn't think so.
Sextuplets is now streaming on Netflix.