Chris Rock brings his critically acclaimed brand of social commentary-themed humor to this 1999 standup comedy presentation from HBO. Also released as an album, Chris Rock: Bigger & Blacker... See full summary »
One candidate for the presidency dies in an accident a couple of weeks before the election. Meanwhile the alderman Mays Gilliam becomes a hero when he rescues a woman and her cat from an old house that would blow up. However his fiancee Kim does not pay his bills and dumps him, and Gilliam loses everything including his fancy car. When Senator Bill Arnot sees the news on television, he plots a scheme with the party advisors Martin Geller and Debra Lassiter to invite Mays to be the party nominee and lose the election for the other candidate, Vice-President Brian Lewis. Four years later, he would be the candidate and would have the chance of winning the election. Mays has a terrible beginning of campaign but when his older brother Mitch Gilliam meets him in Chicago, he advises Mays to be himself. Will he have the chance to be the first African American President of the USA? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The main character's name Mays Gilliam is a combination of two famous New York baseball players from the 1950s: Willie Mays of the New York Giants and Junior Gilliam of the Brooklyn Dodgers. See more »
When Mays promises to drive Mr. Hawkins to work if the bus line gets shut down, the clock on the wall is stopped. See more »
The real, angry Chris Rock doesn't put in an appearance until the final moments of this political satire (directed and co-written by Rock) but it's not enough to rescue what has come before. Rock's fantasy of being the first African-American to achieve the White House (although he's initially set up to fail by spin doctors Dylan Baker and a surprisingly funny Lynn Whitfield) is somewhat toothless by Rock's own standards. The problem is his altered perception of himself as a film star (as opposed to the established HBO black equivalent of Dennis Miller): he phonily positions himself from the onset as cuddly, concerned for the constituents of the ward he's an alderman for and reasonably ignorant of national issues; he's finally allowed to become self-aware only when his older brother (the always welcome Bernie Mac) intercedes. You keep waiting for Rock to change but when he does, it's first into a playa that comes up with glib quips in response to standard questions. (With barely a mention of foreign policy, they seem a bit stale). Only in the final debate against his opponent (Nick Searcy) does he let loose with some honesty and only then do the jokes carry some weight. Rock, making his directorial debut, opts for the equivalent of a made-for-TV movie with a flat look, very mild gags (there are not nearly enough white fright jokes but there is a fundraiser that turns into a dance party with elderly WASPs doing the electric slide, and opening credits that state Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, George Bush and Hillary Clinton, among others, `are not in this movie') and very little interest in being taken seriously. Warren Beatty covered this turf far more handily in `Bulworth'. With Tamala Jones as his love interest, Robin Givens (cleverly cast as a gold digger) and, unfortunately, only a couple of bits from Tracy Morgan.
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