B*A*P*S (1997) Poster

(1997)

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8/10
It's not so bad...
dgordon-114 May 2002
I remember this movie was in limited release when it came out in 1997. I was able to catch it when it appeared on TMN, our movie channel up here in Canada. Being a fan of Robert Townsend, I really liked his past work like "Hollywood Shuffle" and his TV show "The Parenthood", so I knew I was going to like this flick. Though the beginning of the movie is a little on the weak side, it starts picking up to a nice pace and is entertaining.

Some reviewers were offended by the way African-Americans are portrayed in this movie, as ghetto talking and jiving boneheads. For me, I don't see it that way, I just see it as a comedy-straight up. I can see how people would be offended though, because most of the movies that came out before movies like "Waiting to Exhale" & "The Brothers" came out either portrayed the African-Americans as uneducated ghetto talking airheads, or gangsters, pimps, & drug dealers. Another thing I noticed from some of the reviews both on IMDB & other sources, is that the writers think that it has set back the clock for black actors etc. It was directed by an African-American, which I may add, never received his just props in Hollywood. In conclusion, if it makes you laugh, which the fine actors in this movie achieve whole heartedly, it's all good.
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A delightful Cinderella story!
flyinghi3 December 2001
I enjoyed this story about 2 girls with not a lot of class. I'm a woman of color and could appreciate where the ladies were coming from. The characterizations represented the tackier side but I still enjoyed the performances and outcome. What the characters lacked in worldly knowledge, they demonstrated with their heart and compassion for the man portrayed by Martin Landau. I took it as a modern day rags-to-riches story and I'm glad Robert Townsend gave us B.A.P.S. Some may have been insulted but I viewed the story without shame or indignation. Life shouldn't be taken so seriously that you can't find the humorous side of your own people.
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10/10
Delightful fun
Dragoneyed36312 February 2008
B.A.P.s, stylized as B*A*P*S, is an all around excellent movie. The actors and actresses made this a surefire hit for anyone who watches it, or at least in my opinion they did, obviously not a handful of other IMDbers, for Halle Berry and Natalie Desselie are remarkable and capture their characters wonderfully giving them so much lovableness that I couldn't help but care for their charades and experiences.

It is so humorous and has great deliverance of the dialog, even if it's not the best dialog, beautiful scenario, the lighting at least in some scenes was gorgeous, and so many wonderful and unforgettable parts such as the bathroom scene, which I thought was the funniest scene in the movie, and when they're all out dancing around the end, which just makes me all warm inside because they're having such a good time without a care in the world, and that's what this movie was trying to show.

I don't believe there was really anything particularly wrong with this movie at all except that of course it is very mediocre at times. I'm tired of everyone calling it absolutely terrible, because I have come to understand that most every "black comedy" on this website is unfairly maligned. It wasn't boring and it certainly was not overrated, and this movie is an awesome and compelling film that is so wonderfully put together and has so many scenes that just make you want to smile through the whole rest of the movie, which I did, even if I was crying, and to this day, I have loved it ever since my first viewing. If you're not racist/sexist like a lot of IMDb, you can enjoy this movie, otherwise, just back off.
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I thought it was a great movie; It shows how Halle can not only be a serious actress but a funny one.
I loved B.A.P.S it was an awesome movie with a meaning. I thought of it as a Romantic Comedy. Halle Berry is one of my favorite actresses and I adore Natalie Desselle. All the other movies Halle played in they were more serious and less funny and B.A.P.S just showed one of her many talents as an actress. When I saw B.A.P.S it was the first time I had ever heard or saw Natalie Desselle and she was wonderful in this movie. This movie proved that they were really Black American Princesses. And besides I love most of Robert Townsend's movies and this was just one of them. Halle and Natalie acted those parts out like they were actually living Nisi and Nikki's lives and I thought that was just outstanding. It may not have been a big hit, but it was to me.
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Dumb, dumb `comedy' that expects you to laugh whenever one of the black leads squeals....
bob the moo27 May 2002
Nisi and Mickey travel into LA to audition for a music video as dancers. They fail the audition but are hired by a man to pose as the granddaughters of rich Mr Blakemore. However the man's son Isaac appears to have more in mind that just this as the two countrified, black princesses stumble their way around in a rich man's world.

It's hard to believe – when watching Halle Berry collected the best actress Oscar in 2002 than only a few years earlier she was in a dog like this! The story is almost a black Pygmalion in it's rags to riches type setting. It's possible to see how it might have worked – but I'm afraid it didn't work at all. The story is unimportant if the laughs come fast and thick….however I barely smiled once. The level of comedy is aimed at an audience who laugh simply because a character talks like a guest on Jerry Springer, ie squealing and yelling `girrrrrrrl!' etc. The comedy never gets above this – it's tacky and silly.

Backing this up is Berry and Desselle. Deselle is terrible – simply hamming up her `blackness' – it's amazing that black audiences are happy with stereotypes and caricatures like this. Berry tries but is poor, mainly due to the material but also because she isn't a tacky country ho! It's amazing that the makers of this film manage to make this classy lady look cheap and ugly by sticking her in gold teeth, cheap clothes and tacky personality. Landau is embarrassing – at times you can see him close his eyes and just thinking of his Ed Wood Oscar! The only one that comes off well is Richardson's Manley – although he is a white Jeffery (Fresh Prince). The list of black cameos (Rodman, Leon, LL Cool J, several MTV vee-jays) don't actual add interest other than to make you wonder how so many managed to get involved in this.

Overall this is not so much bad as just plain embarrassing for all involved. It shows Berry's talent that she came out of this and managed to further her career. Zero laughs, zero interest – a million cringes, what a load of BAPS!
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1/10
What was Robert Townsend thinking?
Ysman16 February 1999
A terribly unfunny insulting film that embarrasses Landau and Berry, who have both been better. I hope their salaries for this film were astronomical because no self-respecting actor in their right mind would sign on for this film. There are poor and hungry people on our streets, yet somehow a movie like BAPS gets made with a budget of probably several million dollars. Something is wrong with this picture.
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Come On. Lighten Up! It's Just FUNNY
Richard Keith Duncan17 December 2001
Sure it's not "deep" but it is full of sight gags and it's hilarious. The scene at "The Gold Tooth" nightclub, the over-the-top hairdos, and the scene in the line for tryouts in the music video is nothing short of a gut-buster are only a smattering of the laughs you'll have. It is a heart-warming movie that you can watch over and over. PLUS, Halle Berry is such a BABE! So, lighten up and watch it... it beats the copycat 'Booty Call'.
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Don't bash it, re-view it!!! Open your eyes AND your minds!
LeathermanCraig7 July 2000
This movie, while not being a piece of cinematic masterpiece, is not nearly as bad as the rating suggests.... True, most of the characters in the film are completely predictable, but you need to look beyond the "tacky" veneer to see the true person inside. The same could be said for the movie, itself. Sure, on the surface, Nisi & Mickey are scammers from the git go, but, they've got lots of heart & soul.... And, Mr. Blakemore is not as naive or lost as you may think. He sees the beauty beneath the beauties in this film..... It's a growth experience for all involved... Learning to open up and accept people for who they are, not what they seem... Just like this movie! Shame on all of you for beating up on Townsend, Barry, Landau and the rest! Shame!!!! Give it a try.... What's the most it can cost? A few bucks?
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The Curse of the Story
tedg13 September 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers herein.

Projects like this start with the notion of self-parody. You create funny characters that carry a funny world with them. Townsend does a good job at this, with the mannerisms so over the top you are aware of the actresses at every moment. TeeVee skits can work on this alone with no story. But you need a story to sell a movie.

Here we have a pretty lame execution on the story.

The interesting thing here is seeing Halle Berry before fame and Oscar. She's not really an actress with a lot of tools. Instead, she wears just a few attitudes. The same few here are all that were available in `Monster's Ball,' but they are much more apt here - that's because the idea is to make fun of people who act life roles badly. Naturally, they lose all the trashy affect by the end of the movie all they way to disappearing gold teeth. Just so we know they were only fooling.

Despite this, Landau has a pretty masterful death scene. Ian Richardson. Real acting here.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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10/10
Berry Good!!
glenda_anne1239 January 2005
I love this movie! I can't understand why there were some negative comments.I stayed up very late/early to watch this pic as it came on TV in the wee hours of this morning. Well worth the loss of sleep. Halle Berry was her usual gorgeous self. She dons a blonde wig ... both wacky and cool! Teamed up with Natalie Desselle who cooks up some irresistible "soul" food, you couldn't have asked for a better duo to keep you entertained..never a dull moment. Heart warming and fun. This story line may have some similarities with other movies, but this one has been done very well.

If you haven't already seen this light-hearted comedy, you should! You won't be disappointed. 10/10
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Not bad. I wasn't sure what to expect.**SPOILERS**
vchimpanzee18 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Martin Landau was wonderful as a dying old rich man who regained his zest for life and Halle Berry was delightful as the waitress and hairdresser hired to do it. Berry was miserable in her old life, but she and a friend have a chance to audition for a rap video. They don't get that job, but an Italian servant to the rich man sees them in line to audition and offers them a job. The rich man's uptight butler wants to throw them out, but the man's nephew assures them it's ok. The nephew explains that his uncle had a Romeo and Juliet romance with the black housekeeper and has apparently never found a woman he loved since his family got rid of her. The nephew can't find the housekeeper, but to make his uncle happy in his last days, he pretends Berry is the man's granddaughter. Landau recovers and really begins to enjoy life, primarily because Berry's friend cooks him soul food. He plays a dying man and a party animal equally well. The uptight butler loosens up and is particularly funny in two places: buying rap music for Landau, and relaying messages to Berry's boyfriend (when Berry doesn't want to talk to him) on the phone, profanity and all (though I saw the TV version and don't know quite how much profanity). Berry's friend starts a romance with the Italian servant, who claims to be a rich man who couldn't find a woman in Italy. Possible spoilers here: unfortunately, he and the nephew both have less than ideal motives for their actions. The ending was quite interesting: no sound other than music, though you can pretty much tell what was happening. And just in case you didn't figure it out, the words "The End" are replaced with "The Beginning," and there's more. The movie had several chances to be stereotypical but didn't take them. It was a real feel-good movie.
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1/10
Awful, awful, awful!
Miss_MiChiMi12 March 2005
Warning: Spoilers
This movie sucked! The plot is ridiculous, Natalie Desselle is a loudmouth whose talents become nil when she isn't yelling or doing overly exaggerated gestures. Everyone has that one mistake in her professional life that she would love to forget about and this is Halle's.

Halle plays a good toothed gold digger with dollar signs in her eyes and the voice of her equally greedy cohort in her ear. They come into contact with a rich white man and put into a scam to get his greenbacks. They move in with this man and pretend to be related to him when he is found to be terminally ill.
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2/10
Bad Movie!
Cassie9 June 2000
I can't believe Halley Berry actually agreed to act in this movie. I wouldn't even recommend anyone to watch it on cable on a boring night. The acting was poor, the plot was non-existent, and the ending was all too predictable. Not one scene in this movie I enjoyed, overall a 2/10.
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Oy Vay
Allan FINEBERG23 January 2002
The movie manages to insult just about everyone. What's really astonishing is how it manages to make black people look dumb, tacky and annoying. Truly a movie to be avoided like the plague.
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3/10
You know the scriptwriters are desperate when they have to resort to bidet jokes
James Hitchcock7 January 2009
Warning: Spoilers
A "bap" is, in British usage at least, a type of bread roll; in slang it can also be used to mean "breast". This film is not, however, either soft-core porn or set in the baking industry. Here the word is an acronym for "Black American Princess". The "B*A*P*S" of the title are Nisi (it's short for Denise)and her best friend Mickey, two black girls from Georgia who fly to Los Angeles to take part in a dancing contest. They don't win, but while they are in the city they are approached by a stranger who makes them a curious proposition. He tells them that he represents an elderly, dying, millionaire, Donald Blakemore, who many years ago was in love with Lily, his family's black maid. The deal is that Nisi will pose as Lily's granddaughter, in return for which she and Mickey will receive $10,000 and free board at the old man's mansion. The girls are so terminally naive they don't realise that this is all a scam and that they are being used as pawns in a scheme by Blakemore's nephew Isaac to defraud his uncle of his wealth.

The term "Black American Princess", coined on the analogy of "Jewish American Princess", is sometimes used to describe young African-American women from wealthy, cultured backgrounds. Its use in this film, however, is deliberately ironic. Both Nisi and Mickey are from working-class backgrounds (Nisi is a waitress, Mickey a hairdresser) and neither can be described as cultured. Indeed, the film has been criticised by some African-Americans for perpetuating the stereotype of working-class black girls as loud, vulgar and tasteless. The film should have received special Razzie nominations for "worst costume design" and, even more "worst hairstyles". Halle Berry, who stars as Nisi, is one of the world's most beautiful women, but even she finds it difficult to look attractive wearing a fluorescent orange trouser suit and with bleached blonde hair piled high on her head. The twist is that at the end of the film the girls become real "princesses" when Blakemore leaves them a legacy to reward them for the happiness they have brought into his life. With the benefits of their new-found wealth they abandon their gold teeth and false nails and dress more stylishly.

The film has been described as a rags-to-riches fairytale along the lines of "Cinderella", although I preferred one reviewer's comparison with "Pygmalion"; Cinderella achieved her good fortune by marrying a prince, whereas at the end of this film Nisi and Mickey return to their original boyfriends in Georgia. For all their vulgarity and lack of class, the girls are depicted as decent and kind-hearted, and therefore deserving of their unexpected good fortune. This characterisation, however, was never really convincing. Any woman who is offered a large sum of money to adopt a false identity really ought to realise that she is being used as part of some dishonest scheme; that Nisi fails to do so suggests she must be either terminally naive or terminally stupid.

A number of good films have been made on the "Cinderella" or "Pygmalion" themes, such as "My Fair Lady" or "Pretty Woman", but unfortunately "B*A*P*s" is not one of them. "Catwoman" (for which she won a "Worst Actress" Razzie to go with her "Best Actress" Oscar for "Monster's Ball") is normally cited as Halle Berry's worst movie, but I found "B*A*P"s" far worse. "Catwoman" may be nonsense, but at least it is enjoyable nonsense, whereas "B*A*P*s" is a vulgar, tacky and witless comedy. There is very little humour in the script; you know that the scriptwriters are desperate when they have to resort to that old chestnut about the girl who is so unsophisticated she doesn't even realise what a bidet is for. The film was simply a waste of the talents of all those involved. Natalie Desselle, who plays Mickey, would not, on the evidence of this film, seem to have much talent to waste, but several of the others- not only Berry, but also Martin Landau as Blakemore and the late Ian Richardson as his stuffy butler Manley- deserved better than this. 3/10
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1/10
B.lech A.argh P.uhleeze S.top!
JZvezda16 February 2003
There are no words... If this forum supported HTML I'd upload an image of a pool of vomit. And let that be the review.

And I luvz me a good, dumb-ass, mindless comedy ala "Scary Movie" or "Romy & Michele"...but this... it's just plain not funny. At all. Not once. Not even one good chuckle.

But I brought this torture upon myself because I knew Robert Townsend was the director *before* I shelled out my $9 to see it (I enter a plea of temporary insanity). And Mr. Townsend's movies have been as consistently amusing as an acute case of recurring anal-warts. I'm not at all sure how his career made it past the ultimately un-interesting rice-cake called "Hollywood Shuffle", and led to the opportunity for him to inflict "B.A.P.S." upon us... but *someone* in Hollywood thinks this man is funny. Probably the same guy who keeps giving Byron Allen & Alfonso Ribiero new projects to be sucky on.

This dreck is not "so dumb it's funny", it's just dumb-da-dumb-dum-dum. There's potential aplenty but every last intended joke falls a city block short of the target, and "B.A.P.S." owns the distinction of being one of only 3 movies I actually walked, no, make that RAN out of... "Grease 2" & "Johnny Mnemonic" being the others.

So there you go...
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8/10
It's so bad it's great!
diego-3004225 May 2018
Absolutely ridiculous. Halle Berry looked pretty despite the dumb getups. I loved it <3
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6/10
B*A*P*S (Black American Princesses)
tbills231 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I love a nice, goodhearted movie. I do love Halle Berry. I positively love Halle Berry in any manner appearing in a nice, goodhearted movie. I especially love one where Halle Berry is the very main star. No surprise, I absolutely love B*A*P*S, not just for Halle Berry, but also for its goodhearted nature.

B*A*P*S is one of the best dedications to fans of Halle, and this feature is all hers; Berry is so dreamy, and B*A*P*S itself is very dreamlike. Halle gives a vivacious star performance in this gracious tale of rising from rags to riches. In her portrayal of Nisi, Berry preciously provides us the purest glimpse into the real Halle, more true than any other of her numerous roles. Good graces, Halle, you are so sweet, and so strong, and so timeless, so gorgeous, and so funny.

B*A*P*S intends to be funny, and it is, but more importantly it strives to be decent. It succeeds. There are not too many complaints here. Thanks Troy Byer, you, as well as Natalie Desselle, Ian Richardson, and Martin Landau supply generous support. Robert Townsend, a job well done. What a low rating, 3. I feel endlessly inclined to give B*A*P*S a 10, but I'll decidedly decline and give it a true rating of a 6, all to the lovely Halle Berry.

B*A*P*S 2, maybe, just maybe?
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9/10
I like this movie
Boyo-228 June 1999
I've probably seen this movie eight times by now. Needless to say I like it very much. Halle Berry is funny as hell and gives a great performance. There are parts that are heavy-handed but for the most part I was entertained and even touched by this movie.
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1/10
I Second on the Awful!
captainlou31 January 2001
I'm sorry, I have passed by this film for over 4 years now, and now I understand why. It was recently on TV and I was obviously bored and had nothing to do and somehow managed to sit through it. It actually was painful to watch. It has no redeeming value and was not funny in the least. About the only semi-funny scene was in the bathroom. As far as a deeper meaning, please, this film was horrid. If I had let another 4 years go by, my life would probably be better off. What a waste of a beauty in Halle, and the talent of Martin.
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10/10
The funniest movie I've ever seen!
janefondafan31 October 2002
Okay, it's quite obvious by the rating this has been given by IMDB users that too many people took this movie seriously. Yes, it's cheesy... but do you honestly think the producers were going after an Oscar when they made this? Simply put... this movie is freakin' hilarious. Who gives a damn about plot or the ending in a movie like this? It's just cheesy fun. I laughed from the opening frame all the way to the end. In a world of unfunny comedies, "BAPS" really stands out as one of the few that made me laugh as much as it did. I love a serious, thought provoking film as much as the next person, but sometimes you just need a movie to entertain and make you laugh.. and not many comedies these days can do that. If you wanna laugh until you're coughing and trying to catch your breath, then I highly reccomend this film to you. DO NOT take it seriously though and constantly point out the flaws... you won't get the most out of it unless you approach it like the laugh-fest it is!
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I'm glad at least some people respect this film!
IsildursBane4 April 2000
I thought I was the only one who loved this film. It has everything! The groove, passion, soul food, a butler in a penguin suit, fashion, e.t.c. I'm so sad that this isn't on DVD, because I only buy DVD's. But this film is still one of my favorites. **** out of ****
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9/10
I LOVE this movie
sches2615 April 2013
I don't care what anyone says...this was a good movie. You had to see it in it's time back in the '90's when it first came out to really appreciate it. I think it allowed us to see Halle Berry in another role...no one wants to see a great actress playing the same type of roles in every movie.

It was funny and it was clean humor. The movie also had underlying themes about character, ambition, and trust. If you think this movie is horrible then you really have no life and you need to loosen up and laugh more....laughter is good for the soul.

I'm an African American woman and I was not offended by the characters or the plot. I don't think Robert Townsend received enough praise for going against mainstream black movies back then and creating something clean and entertaining.
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10/10
Misses Deeds of the 90's
mildred_shinuald24 October 2012
I did like the movie very much about 2 girls from a ghetto life style. At first I did not know what to expect, but it was done with class to me. It is 2 poor girls reaching fame not even trying. They were just thinking of someone else life and forgot about themselves, this is what caught my interested in the movie. This movie shows never to give up your goals and dreams. Even if we choose to put our dreams and goals on hold, we can come back to them. This movie shows that good things can come to people in unexpected ways. Also, people can change for the better when they are in different environments and presented a better way of life. It is nice to be able to enjoy a movie that shows growth from starting with nothing to gaining much more than ever imagined.
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8/10
A role you would never expect Halle Berry to do so well.
jtdam098 January 2008
I loved this movie 24/7.

It is about two black girls from the ghetto who are discovered to act as this millionaire's late love's grand-daughter(well Halle Berry's role was to play her). The girls then discover some others being fake as well.

The comedy in this movie is really thought out, to me. The customized hairdos are what made me laugh. Out of all of the African American movies, this would be apart of the "not excellent, but good movies to enjoy."

You guys are saying that Halle Berry shouldn't of played this role, but that is what being an actor/actress is about. You have to be able to act as any person. That includes being a king, and then bring some bank robber, and then being a psycho, or something like that.

What about Gerald Butler? He may have not played a good Phantom of The Opera, but he was good in 300 and...I think Beowolf he played in, too. He also plays Hilary Swank's goofy late boyfriend in P.S. I Love You. It's about acting more than just one type of character. If so, That would be boring.
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