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Mixing Nia (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  26 April 1998 (USA)
5.8
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Ratings: 5.8/10 from 146 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 4 critic

Nia is a successful copy writer at ad agency, and she leads white yuppie life (though her mother is black). She quits the agency when she is ordered to push a new brand of beer to black ... See full summary »

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Title: Mixing Nia (1998)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Nia
...
Lewis
...
Matt
...
Joe
Timothy Jerome ...
Harvey (as Tim Jerome)
Brenda Denmark ...
Althea
...
Larry
...
Renee
Heidi Schanz ...
Jen
Neil Harris ...
Homeless man
Ardie Fuqua ...
Basketball player
Brent Meyer ...
Kid
...
(as David Wolos-Fonteno)
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Storyline

Nia is a successful copy writer at ad agency, and she leads white yuppie life (though her mother is black). She quits the agency when she is ordered to push a new brand of beer to black ghetto kids and goes searching for her racial identity. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality
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26 April 1998 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

lighthearted examination of serious issues.
17 April 2000 | by See all my reviews

This movie explores some potentially explosive ideas, but does so in a very light and good humored way--which is very refreshing in light of the desperately serious and overwrought works usually associated with racial issues (see anything by Spike Lee for an example).

Nia is about as white bread, middle class and suburban as they come. Problem is her mother is black, dad white. What's the problem? She fits perfectly into mainstream culture in work, manner of dress, attitudes, speech, books. But her life is somewhat upended when she quits her job over an objectionable advertising assignment related to marketing beer to the inner city. This raises her consciousness about her own situation and racial identity, and triggers the age old search for "who I am."

The problems Nia faces are pretty standard for any young woman: job, family, friends, and romance. Each one is examined as Nia, a genuinely nice person, tries to deal with the extra layer of difficulty presented by being biracial.

Finding a boyfriend to suit her takes up most of the time. She is torn between the two worlds in the form of two suitors. Unfortunately these two worlds are represented by two basic stereotypes: An Afrocentric, jargon spouting, sexually aggressive black activist who hilariously wants to segregate Nia's books, black authors from white authors. The white suitor is a geeky pretty boy upper crust optimist who can't dance and is hopelessly clumsy in seducing Nia. The movie is most interesting when departing from these crude stereotypes, like Nia's hamfisted attempt at fitting into black culture by taking her black boyfriend to a soul restaurant only to find that he's a vegetarian and can't eat anything on the menu.

The movie tends to concentrate on Nia's attempt to come to terms with her black half--sometimes directly at odds with her otherwise white existence: She is shocked when she hears her new boyfriend and a black female friend's cruel racism against her white friend; or when her very liberal white father confronts her new black boyfriend's anti-integrationism.

The movie doesn't offer any real resolution, nor is one really expected. This is a modest movie, exploring some sensitive issues in a very lighthearted way. The flaws are minor, some stereotyping in order to get a point across, and some attempts at humor which don't quite work, but altogether an enjoyable attempt to bring down the volume.


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