So I will come right out and say I have no idea where top five, as a thing, fits into this movie. As far as raw black movies go, this is probably the best one out (editor’s note *I haven’t seen Dear White People). Now this isn’t your typical black (comedy) movie. It’s not about somoking weed every day and doing hood shit. This is a, dare I say, romantic comedy that is smart and something that transcends race. If you took away the black jokes, this could easily fit anyone (or race). It is simple that way, which I argue is what makes it so brilliant.
Chris Rock and Rosario Dawson are the headlining talents of the film and that was enough for me to go to the movies. The pair make for an interesting dynamic, I found, on screen. Rock, comes from a comedic background which is exactly his character on screen. His character is grounded in numerous ways. One being abuse of alcohol. Its a easy way to make a character relatable and when rock delves into that side of things, his acting seems more real than another aspect. Rosario is a flawed, mysterious journalist. Personally, I feel like this is one of her better roles and I hope she does more like this, or more with Rock. She came off veey much like that girl you could kick it with and seemed very wholesome in her personal life. Her flaws are on the surface but do not define her. She was tremendously written to give off enough visually and to have the viewer assume correctly the type of person she was.
An aspect of movies I don’t usually go into is costume and character looks, but if done for the movie and not just a look she had for product placement, her entire wardrobe and her house and everything she was, were all so well thought out. Yes she not make it on a hot list in say “People Magazine” but for her character, I was captured by her and everything about her.
The story isn’t anything new. Well maybe till the end but since I’ve probably already said that like 7 times, I will give my opinion on what bothers me. Most of the scenes are funny and well thought out but the first complaint I did have was from the Houston sex scene. The lead up to it was great. But then the brief four play was just so random and seemed out the blue, out of context of the story till that point. Granted, I’ve seen worse things. Hell, I’ve heard of worst stories like a girl giving a bj inside of an apartment garbage room. But that scene totally made me believe I was watching a movie (at that a very tacky one)versus watching a screenplay or a story that was real; which is what I feel each movie is charged with doing. The other comes from my opening line. Top five. In most socially acceptable scenario’s, it means that you have to give someone your top five of any given subject. Being this is a black/urban movie, hip-hop is the subject. But by the end of this thing, it just left you really lost as to how it relates to the overall, overarching theme/story. The last thing I will say as a form of a complaint is that Chris rock tends to write stories centered around jokes, versus stories that contain jokes. This movie has that, but probably not as much as his earlier work(s) like Down to Earth.
My favorite moments of the film are the urban moments where he gets back with his “roots” and family. There’s a moment with his father who you don’t know is so, until the conclusion of the scene. It was well crafted. When he reaches his old apartment, the feel of those seemed so authentic, satirical, and made the entire story seem believable. They were well acted, shot written, everything.
Bottom line: For what society says is urban culture and cinema, this is tremendous story telling and not your typical “black” film. For film students, This is great story to screen. For everyone else, this is a great holiday movie and a great anytime film.
- Overall rating of the movie: 7.9 out of 10,
- Cinematography: 7 out of 10,
- Editing: 8 out of 10,
- Audio: 10 out of 10,
- Acting: 8 out of 10,
- Theatres or wait for the blu-ray? Definitely worthy of picking up on blu-ray. great modern classic, but it probably won’t be.
THAT’S IT! Cheers: “To Peace”. Your eLEWsive Thought Provided by: the “LEW System”
– Xavier – @CoolyoNgeLEW