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Strictly Business (1991)

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Two black friends, one of lighter skin complexion than the other, try to use each other to improve their social and professional positions.

Directors:

Kevin Hooks, Rolando Hudson (uncredited)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Davidson ... Bobby
Joseph C. Phillips ... Waymon
Anne-Marie Johnson ... Diedre (as Anne Marie Johnson)
David Marshall Grant ... David
Jon Cypher ... Drake
Samuel L. Jackson ... Monroe (as Sam Jackson)
Halle Berry ... Natalie
Kim Coles ... Millicent
Paul Butler Paul Butler ... Leroy Halloran
James McDaniel ... Roland Halloran
Paul Provenza ... Larry
Annie Golden ... Sheila
Sam Rockwell ... Gary
Ira Wheeler Ira Wheeler ... Mr. Atwell
Sarah Stavrou Sarah Stavrou ... Karen
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Storyline

Fun-loving Bobby is a mail boy in a big firm, but he has a trump card, his best friend Waymon, a "white" African-American who is almost a partner in the firm. They make a deal: Waymon will try to move Bobby to the trainee broker programme if he will help him meet Natalie, the girl of his dreams. There's only one problem, everyone will have to change... Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A comedy about a kid who goes from the mailroom to the boardroom by improving relations between a mover & a shaker.

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Go Natalie! See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$7,683,267
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Island World See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One actress and two actors later played Marvel characters. Halle Berry portrayed Storm in the X-Men film franchise. Samuel L. Jackson portrayed Nick Fury in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Sam Rockwell portrayed the villain Justin Hammer in Iron Man 2 (2010). See more »

Quotes

Bobby Johnson: You know what, G? You are straight-up whiter than the *whitest* white man!
See more »

Connections

References New Jack City (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

How to Flow
Performed by Nice & Smooth
Written by Darryl Barnes & Greg Mays
Courtesy of Def Jam/Sony Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Typical but still great

I'm not sure if it's because people don't like popular actors' earlier works or if it's just because the movie was released in 1991, which is considered to be old now, but viewers have the tendency to find lesser value in these kinds of films. Yet, there are various actors here that should help make the viewer at least give it a watch for curiosity. Seriously, Samuel L. Jackson, the guy who played Nick Fury from The Avengers (2012) and Mace Windu from the three Star Wars prequels is in this movie acting as a balding grumpy boss at a business firm! It's quite comical to see him in this kind of role.

The premise is very basic, a businessman finds the girl of his dreams but can't find a way to meet her. Luckily, he has a friend who can get him inside the world she lives in so he can finally be happy. The businessman who only knows how to be a "business man" and nothing else is Waymon (Joseph C. Phillips). Waymon is the best portrayal of how backward someone's life can be depending on how they're brought up. To show this, Phillips makes Waymon look like a stiff, a guy who can't adapt to something different or new; a book worm. That's very relateable because a lot of people are like that when it comes to trying new things and breaking their comfort shell.

The person who will introduce Waymon to this change is Bobby (Tommy Davidson) who apparently lives in Harlem; in other words, his type of demeanor is quite the opposite of Waymon. This is what makes various scenes funny because of how Bobby acts with his co-workers and Waymon. The girl that Waymon wants to get to know is Natalie, played the ever so popular Halle Berry. May I mention that this is only her second theatrical release where she actually plays a more significant role? But even here, she puts in a nice performance, although it could be said that she's just here for eye-candy (which should be a reason to watch this I would think). The rest of the cast also does a good job in doing their part, so no complaints here.

Pam Gibson and Nelson George who did the writing have a decent script here as well. I am surprised to how many times the "N" word was spoken; yet I feel now that if it were left out, it would not have felt as authentic. The subplots are also rather typical but it's forgivable because how much charm the main actors give their characters. There are several genuinely funny scenes in this movie as well. Most of these scenes are the exchanges between Waymon and Bobby when Natalie is around.

However, the one thing I found a little unrealistic is how certain characters had connections to important people. I mean, I know it's possible but both characters have to have some kind of status on the corporate latter, not just one, unless it is one of those rare cases. So I was a little confused on how they met. No explanation was given, that could have at least been explained. Lastly, the musical score provided by Michel Colombier didn't have a main theme but it did carry a consistent tone, which pleased me. A lot of the music played carries culture and continually sounds upbeat and energetic. That always helps a movie, especially if its genre is romance/comedy. It's all around a solid movie.

Not only does it contain performances from actors in their earlier days but it also has a good story to go along with it. The character portrayals are also well scripted.


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