Hav Plenty (1997) Poster

(1997)

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Weak narrative but done with some wit and charm
bob the moo9 April 2002
Lee Plenty is house sitting for his friend Hav Savage. The pair have a frosty relationship but also have slight crushes on each other. When Hav invites Lee down to her parent's house in Washington for New Years eve he travels down but finds himself involved in the lives of all the women under that roof. Every time he tries to leave something comes up.

The plot of this film is a little vague to say the least – it is really based on real life so the rambling story can be excused. It even has a story within a story and finishes with a point that's hard to understand in context of the true story context. However that's not to say that it is without charm, despite not moving in one clear direction it is quite nice. The relationships between all the main characters are quite witty and involving – making the story good despite it's weakness.

The cats are generally good. I felt that Cherot did well as a writer and director but as an actor his performance wasn't good enough to carry the film. His mugging is quite irritating at times and makes it hard to believe that anyone would fall for his `charms'. In fairness he's not terrible but someone else could have done it better. Maxwell is frosty, sexy and vulnerable all at the same time and is really good in an initially unlikable character. Similarly her sister Leigh (played by Lee) is cute and does well with a complex role. The cameos in the movie within the movie are also quality but only really for laughs – Nia Long, Lauryn Hill, Mekhi Phiffer and TLC's Chilli.

Overall this struggles from a narrative that lacks direction and a lead star who maybe thinks he's funnier than he is. But the overall film is witty and charming, the cast are young and sexy and interesting and it's nice to see a black comedy that doesn't have the terrible Master P in it!
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8/10
love lives!
am_smith1 February 2004
I saw Hav Plenty when it was first released back in 1997 and i still feel about it today the same as i did when i left out of the theater back in '97. I left the theater feeling uplifted about love. And not only was this a very likable little love story, but it was an incredible character study on how opposites can come to attract and how best friends may sometimes make the best lovers. The performances were flawed at times but what the film lacked in the strongest of performances it more than made up for by the overall chemistry of characters and the general likability of them as well. It's a good love story. It certainly didn't reinvent the wheel but it certainly is worth a viewing.
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8/10
I really enjoyed this movie, albeit it's not for everyone...
detramichel26 August 2003
I saw Hav Plenty on cable one night. I thought the movie was good. The characters were interesting and Lee was a very likable person to me. He had an off-wit charm yet caring demeanor that I could see different types of women falling for. I appreciated the fact the movie was different and introduced more middle-class African-Americans, which are often neglected.

The plot was a bit fuzzy and had the makings of a first time director but overall entertaining.
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8/10
Low-budget goodie!
fiona davidson18 March 2001
I was very pleasantly surprised by this low budget comedy. The story centres around a homeless writer, Lee Plenty (Christopher Scott Cherot - who did everything on this movie to prove his up-coming talent) who joins a friend and her family for New Year, and the trials and tribulations which befall him during his stay. These trials mainly involve getting into various unwanted and unplanned situations with several women. The movie tells a story of love through modern day class barriers and the will Lee Plenty had to achieve his aim (publishing a book). As it turned out everything that happened to him gave him all the material he needed.

I found the film light and easy to watch, although not so much the romantic comedy which it was advertised as. The entertainment was in wondering what was going to happen to Lee next to prevent him leaving as he was constantly planning. I must admit though that the ending was pretty predictable. I'm looking forward to what Cherot will treat us to next.
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10/10
Loved the Movie
louray19 July 2006
I truly enjoyed the movie "Hav Plenty". It was very refreshing to see a romantic and well-written Black love story, which is so rare these days. The cast were all outstanding actors for a low budget movie. The movie was very realistic and it made you feel that you could truly relate. I especially loved Christopher Scott Cherot's role. Although Ms. Havelin was playing "hard-to-get", I loved the way Mr. Plenty stood his grounds and did not give in.

My daughter turned me on to this movie and now every time I learned that it is airing I watch it religiously. I surely hope that Mr. Cherot will be bringing us more movies and especially with him as a character. I fall more in love with him each time I see the movie. I plan to purchase it and add it to my collection of all-time favorites.
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10/10
Has Plenty of Originality
kevin_kruz20 September 2005
remember when you would hear a song & try to claim it before anyone else saying "that's my jam"? well "this my movie".

not too many people know of this one which in a strange way is a good thing. we don't want it to be spoiled by mainstream biters.

i myself just happened to stumble across this one when doing the typical back and forth at the blockbuster a few years back. i saw the cover and it looked appealing - let's see, a romantic comedy without meg ryan? black peeps who are professionals with upper mobility? a story that's actually not about the stereotypical thug?

it's an original, creative story made by very talented actors, producers, and music biggies. soundtrack is on-point, characters are likable, even the cameos are well-chosen! overall it's a funny feel-good flick smoothed out on the r&b tip wit a pop appeal, appeal, to it.
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10/10
Delivers Plenty
LJAllen20 September 2000
Chris Cherot's first feature is an indication of good things to come. While lacking what most independent films lack--namely money--Cherot manages to offer a witty and somewhat unconventional look at romance and the often ambiguous values of the Black middle class. You will inevitably want to see this film again. With each viewing you will notice another nuance of the intense passion between the unassuming Lee Plenty (Christopher Cherot) and the pretentious Havilland Savage (Chenoa Maxwell). You will find yourself refreshed by this film's honesty, good humor, and the ultimate triumph of true love.
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2/10
Not all positive Black films are GOOD Black films.
TNRich5 February 2001
Ok, so it's difficult to make a film with very little money. And with all of the straight to video films by this and that rap star, it's probably near impossible to make a film that doesn't showcase ghetto issues.

But that's no excuse for such a bad film. When you don't Hav Plenty of money, the one thing you can still do is write a good story. This one is terrible.

Hav Plenty lacks a coherent story; the actors, while hype about their screen debut, are uninspired and apathetic; the characters make gross judgments despite being undeveloped; the main character, while apathetic in a curiously nihlistic way, is both passive and unemotional.

The dialogue is bad. (I didn't know we talked that way.)Further, while the movie is deemed 'positive'--I guess because nobody gets killed--the dialogue actually reveals the writer's disturbing assumptions about Black women and their view of self.

Lastly, while props go out to Christopher Scott Cherot, for accomplishing the Van Peebles-ian task of writing, directing, editing and starring in his own film; Hav Plenty also suffered from the Van Peebles-ian lack of focus, direction and story development in a film that they write, direct and star in.

I hope that next time he decides to do just one job--either write or direct.

And I hope he does it well.

R
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It was nice, but I thought it needed lots and lots of work. I hate to admit I was disappointed
lovejone30 December 1998
I really wanted to see this movie in the theaters. I had just seen Lovejones and I thought Hav Plenty was going to be on the same level. Instead, I rented the video and I was so happy I didn't waste my money. Don't get me wrong, I give Mr. Cherot his props as a first time director, actor, editor and writer. I just thought the movie needed more character development and more of a plot. Maybe if this movie had been released before Lovejones, I wouldn't have had high expectations.
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A delectable tidbit to consume without guilt
eve-112 December 2002
This movie is so compelling. I am mesmerized by it to the degree that almost every time it airs I watch it. This felt familiar and realistic. Low budget but sparkling with charm and wit. I enjoyed the characters and the pacing especially. It was like eating an Eskimo pie on a summer's day when you have absolutely nothing to do but enjoy it!
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7/10
I liked it.
trasea19 November 2005
I thought it was a good movie. It was intimate (as in warm and familiar) and sort of a comedy of errors. I thought it was a cast of some of the most beautiful Black folks I'd ever seen! Lee Plenty was scruffy, but what I liked about this character is that he had a full sense of himself. That was attractive! He was aware of his shortcomings and he also had confidence and and a great sense of humor about himself. I especially liked the way that the character Hav thought she could wrap Lee around her finger, I get the impression that she thought she was a little better than he, but she couldn't deny the attraction she felt. It was interesting to watch her simultaneously be attracted and repelled. The other characters, the friend and the sister who wanted to have her way with Lee made for an interesting and funny (not as in side splittingly hilarious, but as in sweet mixed with smart) weekend. I think it's a smart movie.
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excellent, witty, hilarious, warm
sblacktee13 April 2002
The very first time we (myself and 16 year old daughter) viewed this film, we found it to be hilarious. I'm happy my daughter watched with me for the first time however, due to the clitoris comment made by Hill Harper. It was too mature for her but luckily I was there to bring her back. So, parents take the "R" ratings to heart. Chris Cherot evidently has the same type of sense of humor as we because we were cracking up. It was refreshing to watch normal(educated, well-versed) black folks interacting. It seemed more like a documentary to me. The acting was so natural and I appreciated how true the characters were to their feelings. They all seemed to be so comfortable in their own skin. I would like to know if they ended up together though. Or was the ending a part of Chris's comment at the end "I only sold out a little bit". Also, is there a book available if anyone knows?
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funny, and very real.
mofrogg3 January 1999
"hav plenty" is a film that really only interested me at first because of the babyface connection. but as i watched, i could really relate to lee plenty. the tattered sweater, the aimlessness, the sarcasm to the point of obnoxiousness. and i was so glad to see a male lead character who doesn't think with his libido. it's a refreshing, very realistic film with funny dialogue that doesn't sound like written movie dialogue. the ending is a bit goofy, though. i'm anxious to see the next project from cherot (and robinne lee, who is stunning). B+
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I liked this movie!
jdb-431 August 2000
I didn't get a chance to see this movie when it came out but when I saw it I was really impressed. The movie had class and it was refreshing to see normal black folk. As a film maker my self I thought the guy did an excellent job for the money. It just proves you can do a quality film without a bunch of stars. But where is Chebot, I am waiting for his next project.
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personally humorous and entertaining freshman creation
dsurratt26 May 2000
I watched the film with absolutely no idea of what to expect. The lead character Lee Plenty, played by actor/writer/director Chris Cherot, really impressed me with the the last minute acting responsibility with absolutely no previous theatrical experience. The lead female character, played by a stunningly classy Chenoa Maxwell, did a good job as well slipping into the suit of a pretentious and loveless woman.

The scenes could have used some polishing, but once again, Havplenty is a low-budget, independant debut film by Cherot, and i'm looking forward to what he'll think of next. I think the character sketches of Black people as intelligent members of society without a gangsta-esque "f**k the world" mentality is also refreshing and entertaining. I gave it a B-
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A movie worth watching more than once
kaknowa15 October 1999
I truly enjoyed this romantic comedy. I have to admit the first time I watched it I didn't really appreciate the brilliance of Cherlot. For that reason I recommend that all viewers pay close attention the first time or watch it again. The movie was very realistic and funny. For a first time writer, actor, and director I give Cherlot an A+. If you (hav) not seen "hav plenty" please rent it today!
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Needs plenty!
cerasea4 December 2001
I was offended, bored and annoyed while watching this. I don't usually agree with many of Maltin's summaries but his take on this one is right on the money (except I'd only give it 1/2 a star - just for being able to get distributed and those celebrity cameos - terrible waste of connections). As well as being smug, the movie was colorist, classist and disturbingly close-minded.

Besides the fact that this quasi-movie could have gotten funded and distributed, when quality projects are struggling to get produced, the most disturbing thing is that there are people who have watched this and thought it was anything more than horrid.

Sorry, but no thanks!
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It sucks
sandy-6630 August 1999
I really have to say this movie was a total waste of money. I saw it with my family, and we were all like: 'what is this?!' I mean, there is no plot, there is no rate in the storyline. There should be some sort of tension between hav and lee, but there isn't. They are all like: talk to the hand, ahaa. Were you guys laughing when hav's sister slushed the toilet when she may not, because she didn't take her pills? oh come one how boring. It could be funny, but they did it all wrong. And when lee says something in the camera, come on it is a movie. I didn't watch it till the end, cause I hated both the main characters, and there was no romance. On the outside of the tape, it says: A sparkling, gripping romantic comedy. Yeah right. Don't get me wrong, I do not complain much about movies, I love movies, but this movie is so wrong. Maybe when you like this kind of stuff, it is a nice movie, but if you want to see a really sparkling gripping romantic comedy you should try something else. There are lots of them.
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10/10
Charmingly Funny!
do-bye23 December 2003
I enjoyed hav plenty very much. This is probably the best comedy I have in my movie collection. The characters are very hilarious and entertaining.
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2/10
Horrible, Horrible movie except for....
JohnShea31 May 1999
This movie is extremely horrible except for one line that Hav says. The line is said while she is talking on the phone to someone. She says: "Do I look like a biscuit? Do I look like a biscuit to you? Do I look like a french fry? Then why you treatin me like a side order!"

Oh good lord this line is hilarious.
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9/10
Refreshing and impressive...
darwin-612 November 1999
I must say, for a first time director/actor/writer...Mr. Cherot has many skills. He acts without pretension, the dialogue is snappy and realistic, and the plot revolves around the characters, instead of some contrived formula. My only question is with some of the acting, but damn...for a low budget, first time debut--- this movie impressed the hell out of me.

This movie happens like real life, like a seinfeld episode...it's quirky and blunt. And I give mad props for the ending, which playfully satirized the movie and genre itself... and it confirms the courage and honesty I liked so much from the beginning... Enjoy this one without your ego, just watch it and be absorbed!
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9/10
Good Movie
cherry56030 July 2008
While it is not a perfect 10 on my scale it is high up on my list. I really like this story and is a good story. I don't know why there are all these bad commands like this movie is Gigi or Camp Fever. Those of some terrible movies, like on a negative side, really really bad. This actually a good movie and here we have people who just hated it. If I hated a movie that much i don't watch more than 20 minutes of the movie. I love that it showed for once that the woman can mess a good thing up and its not always the man. It gets on my nerves that everything are so one sided sometimes. I liked the one year later thing because if they had gotten together at the end of what happen it would have been too cheesy. Chris i loved your movie and much love my brotha.
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10/10
Thoroughly pleasant movie....
Supaman9 June 1999
Hav Plenty is one of the most under-rated, under-exposed movies I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. It was entertaining from beginning to end. The laughs were 'Plenty'-ful. (Lots of critics use puns, why should I be different.) If you just want to have a good time watching a movie, invite over a few friends and pop 'Hav Plenty' in the VCR. P.S. They should have hired me to promote this movie maybe more than 12 people would have seen it.
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5/10
Plenty of Cherot
=G=17 August 2002
"Hav Plenty" is a little Afro-Am romantic comedy which tells of the wax and wane of an unspoken but simmering love between an unemployed writer, Lee Plenty (Cherot), and a beautiful career woman, Havilland Savage (Maxwell)...hence the title, "Hav" and "Plenty" (Get it?). The film has a stagey feel from being shot on sets with characters occasionally speaking directly to the camera, avoids excesses (excesses cost money), and relies mostly on a "less is more" philosophy to get from start to finish. Nonetheless, "Hav Plenty" has a sort of quietly endearing charm which must flow from Cherot as he is the auteur and lead actor and it -is- a true story....or so he tells us in the film (and I Tivo'd is from the "True Stories" channel on cable). Okay stuff for those looking for a low cal watch on tv. (C-)
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8/10
I Applaud Cherot
jejohnson224422 May 2011
Not because he's a black director, mainly because this is an enjoyable movie. First things first, the camera needed to learn how to shut off at times but for 500,000 bucks whats the point, I mean power is such a primitive word for the budget. That is what stomped me, the amount used yet still an amazingly good film. The main character was very funny and kept the sarcasm at such a likable way that you couldn't hate him. The plot is average but that is what the acting makes up for. All I say is great movie, fun characters and pretty original, especially for a romantic comedy in this era full of black romantic films. Hav Plenty is a film that will not disappoint in both laughter and intelligence.
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