A young Great Gatsbyish Hip Hopper named Summer G falls for a middle to upper class sister while in college. After she rejects him for a fellow social climber, Summer G spends ten years building a Hip Hop empire, then moves to the Hamptons where he finds the object of his affections. Written by
L. J. Allen-2
Cherot's earlier film, "Hav Plenty", was one of my favorite movies. The chemistry between Cherot and Maxwell's characters in "Hav Plenty" was magical, albeit also disturbing in some ways. Hav (Maxwell's character) was a self-admitted freak and you find yourself asking why can't D. Money look past her breath-taking physical beauty and see the darkness within? But, this review is about Cherot's later movie, "G". It was a big disappointment. I rented it from Blockbuster immediately after noticing Chenoa Maxwell starred in it. I didn't even notice that it was another Cherot movie until after I watched it ... twice. The significance of that fact is that I was thinking "G" suffered from not having Cherot as the director, then I found out this was a Cherot film. Uh-oh.
This movie has two problems. One is the weak script. The entire premise is 100% unbelievable. Rappers in the Hamptons? Come on. Maybe, this could have been pulled off as a comedy, but as drama the premise is ill-conceived.
This movie has so much potential. Blair Underwood nails his character, as always. And, Richard T. Jones manages to tone down his obvious comedic skills and delivers a leading man whose charisma is all the more impressive when you realize he convinces us that Sky (Maxwell's character) should be with him instead of the brother every sister in the world would love to wake up next to, Blair Underwood. Pay attention to the second scene in which we see Summer G. (Jones' character). You sense everything you need to know about Summer G. before he evens says a word. Jones' acting is that deep in this movie. It is, by far, his best work I have seen to date.
Problem number two is Chenoa Maxwell. Chenoa Maxwell is one of the finest sisters on the planet. That, in itself, is enough to convince most men, and more women than you might think, to see this movie. But, she, apparently, is an actress who needs quite a bit of help from her director. She was so fascinating in "Hav Plenty". But, in "G" she appears, well, amateurish. And, I say that as a fan who sincerely wants to see her do well. I couldn't help being drawn to her character in the episodes she played in "Girlfriends". She played opposite Golden Brooks, another sister with drop dead gorgeous looks. Yet, when the two had a scene together, I found myself drawn to Maxwell's character. But, "G" is the worst work I have seen yet from Maxwell.
I always saw Chenoa Maxwell playing a role. I never saw Sky, the character Chenoa was supposed to be portraying. Chenoa doesn't look comfortable with this role. In her love scene with Jones, he is buck naked, oblivious to the rest of the world, only into Sky. But, Sky isn't there. Instead, there is Chenoa, more concerned about what body parts not to show than of losing herself in G.s embrace. I can respect a sister deciding not to show her body on camera. But, a sister with those sort of values should not have accepted this role.
I think , when it comes to love scenes, the actors have to put all personal inhibitions aside and immerse themselves in their characters. It it then up to the director to tastefully edit out shots which are not flattering. If you don't trust your director to do that, you can not give your character your whole heart and soul. Halle Berry had to do this in "Monster's Ball". In her infamous love scene with Billy Bob Thornton's character, Halle is nowhere to be found. At that moment, the only woman in the room is Leticia Musgrove. Yes, it annoys me that White Folks picked that particular story to come up, finally, with another best actress award for a sister. But, Chenoa could learn a lot from Halle's work in "Monster's Ball". Think back to the last scene of "Monster's Ball", when Halle's character told us so much without ever saying one word. Now, that was the level of talent we needed to see from my girl Chenoa.
Chenoa, please, sister woman, at some point, if you intend to take this acting thing to the next level, you have to be willing to move further from Chenoa and closer to the character you are playing. Embrace her, take chances, even chances that you personally might be a little uncomfortable with. I, for one, know you have it in you.
But, if your personal value system is not compatible with the whole Hollywood acting scene, to the point where you decide being Chenoa is more important than being an actress, I ain't mad at cha. I have no doubt you could be a success at anything else you put your head to. But, whatever you choose to do, do it with all your mind, heart, soul, and body.
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