An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.
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Bobby Taylor wants to be a respected actor. From Sam Spade to Shakespeare to superheros, he can do it all. He just has to convince Hollywood that gangstas, slaves and "Eddie Murphy-types" aren't the sum of his talents.Written by
Renee Ann Byrd <email@example.com>
At the beginning of the film, just after Bobby Taylor walks into the TinselTown Pictures offices, there is a close-up of the interview sheet showing his appointment for 10:30. The other names on the sheet are the actual names of other actors appearing in the film. See more »
When the casting directors say they want the lead actor to act like Eddie Murphy, some of the shots are reversed. See more »
Robert Townsend's independent debut is a light-hearted farce that explores the struggles of black actors of Hollywood. But the issues that the film could be applied to talented folks in any field who are prevented from reaching their full potential because of stereotypes.
Many of the cast were unknowns at the time but they did an excellent job in the various skits. My favorite is the parody of Siskel and Ebert's TV show, where two street hoods sneak into the movies to give their own rather unique reviews. Amadeus is slammed by the amateur critics because "the movie's title is too hard to pronounce" while a movie about Zombie Street Pimps is given the thumbs up, because of the attention to detail. This is typical of the kind of humor employed throughout the movie - Townsend takes a racial stereotype and turns it outside out, making us think and laugh out loud at the same time.
I wish more directors, black or not, would follow Townsend's personal, self-effacing approach to movie-making but I guess it's easier to produce yet another violent shoot-em up or special effects showcase. Oh well.
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