Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also comes repercussions for all involved. Written by
N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>
The names of two characters are based on real performers of the past. "Mantan" came from Mantan Moreland and "Sleep 'n' Eat" was based on Willie Best, who was sometimes credited only as "Sleep 'n' Eat" in early films. See more »
Read most of the reviews for this flick and you can tell that they are written by people who are saying more about how they feel about Spike Lee and racial issues than this movie. Here's something about me pertaining to this. I like Spike Lee, but I only like two of his films (before this one). His TV commercials are more entertaining than the rest of the flicks.
"Malcolm X" was the best, but most of that was based on the autobiography completed by Alex Haley. "Do The Right Thing" on the other hand was pure Spike Lee brilliance, but none of his films following that one (and "X") were worth viewing much... until this one.
Damon Wayans' performance was compelling, though the accent was a little too emphasized and annoying (It was Damon, not Keenan... you idiots!). Jada Pinkett's good in anything. As for Mos Def et. al.... Their characters might have been mostly illogical, but their contribution to the story was believable and powerful. The climax, in particular, literally had my heart pounding with an anticipation I can't remember having for anything in a motion picture.
I ain't a know-it-all wanna-be-intelligent-sounding film critic, but take it from me. If you don't like Spike, you won't like this one. In fact, this film and the story therein aren't for you. This is more for those who have an interest in the entertainment business with pertinence to racial relations. Particularly, if you think you don't see color 'cause one of your girlfriends or boyfriends were of a different race, you might need to check-out this one; not that this is the topic of the story, but your way of thinking is.
This film has good casting, a good script, an important topic, a compelling story, and a compelling soundtrack (particularly Stevie Wonder's "Misrepresented People").
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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