|| Home Page | Welcome | Contents | Staff | Support Us ||

Jan 12 2004

My Baby's Daddy
by:Edwardo Jackson

MOVIE BIASES: Expectations don't come much lower. MAJOR PLAYERS: Eddie Griffin (Dysfunktional Family), Anthony Anderson (Kangaroo Jack), Michael Imperioli (TV's "The Sopranos"), and director Cheryl Dunye (The Watermelon Woman)

I'll be the first to admit that I have more biases against this movie than Howard Dean does Bush's military policy. I read two, not one, but TWO, damn near unreadable drafts of the script (originally titled "My Baby Mama," even better, I know) written by Eddie Griffin and Damon "Coke" (no snickers, please) Daniels before it went out to studios.
It was mind-numbingly stupid, offensive, badly written, and just. Not. Funny.
Also, this movie slipped out on Friday WITHOUT the benefit of advance critic screenings (not that I would've been falling over myself to get to this one anyway) -- almost always a sign that the studio's so freakin' embarrassed, they just want to dump the movie, take their lumps, and move on with their lives. Well, as many of you will be SHOCKED to read (okay, not really), I came to bury this movie, not to praise it.

Nerdy sanitation engineer (ahem, garbage man) Lonnie (Griffin), convenience store worker/aspiring boxer G (Anderson; yeah, I know -- Anthony ANDERSON as an aspiring boxer; stay tuned -- this gets much worse), and music producer/wannabe manager Dominic (Imperioli) are three overgrown boys living out their post-adolescence under Lonnie's Uncle Virgil's (John Amos) roof as best friends.

Almost like women in close proximity whose cycles run together, all three of these guys get the women in their lives pregnant -- a professional hoodrat (Paula Jai Parker), an Asian girlfriend (Bai Ling), and a sexy, bisexual co-worker (Joanna Bacalso), respectively. Through fatherhood, the boys are supposed to grow up to be men, they learn life lessons, hilarity ensues, right?

Well, at least that was the plan. Movies rarely come more badly assembled than this one. Slow mo-booty shots? Check. Fart jokes? Check. Offensive, stereotypical, generally degrading and embarrassing to the race (black and human)? Triple check. Subtlety is anathema to a film like this, featuring labor pains to a soundtrack of Salt & Pepa's "Push It," Tiny Lister's poor man's Suge Knight impersonation, and Method Man's modern day cooning in blackface (wait a minute - that IS his face). Talk about the anatomy of a bad comedy. Who in the WORLD thought this crap was funny? And who in the world buys, develops, then greenlights this crap? Well, in this case, Miramax, that's who.

Look, I know how tough it is to get a job in Hollywood but have they no shame? They would be John Amos (why, James Senior, why? You were the freakin' Secretary of Defense on "West Wing!"), Bai Ling (I was one of 12 people who saw "Red Corner;" I KNOW you're an actress!), Marsha Thomason (who won't be quitting her day job of "Las Vegas" anytime soon), and Michael Imperioli?!? C'mon, Mike. You're Chrissy SOPRANO, for crying out loud! You'd kneecap a herb like the perpetually late and irresponsible Dominic (probably just after doing some blow) sooner than you would actually PLAY him! What the hell are you doing in this movie (in a role they changed from black to white in development, probably, to draw in the all-important "crossover" audience because, you know, us po' black folk couldn't POSSIBLY carry a movie - let alone a COMEDY, the only type of movie they'll seem to let us make these days - by ourselves).

I'm not going to get on my anti-dumb black Hollywood soapbox; it's like picking on the slow kid from the short yellow schoolbus -- nor is it worth the energy. But when such an obvious, empty-headed script meets half-assed, uninspired acting all to further bankrupt our disintegrating culture with its stereotypical laziness and lower our Dante-level expectations in anticipation of a PROFIT, I cannot help but be offended. It's a comedy co-written by a comedian and IT WASN'T EVEN FUNNY (even more offensive). I, literally, counted how many times I laughed during the movie, I was that bored. I came up with exactly ten. Ten laughs. You don't need an MBA to figure out that comes to one per nine minutes in this 90 minute film, or, rather 77.5 cents a laugh (and that's a matinee, y'all).

Think about that. Seventy-eight cents a laugh. That's a Twix bar, two stamps to pay bills with, three jumbo Blue Razzberry blowpops! What else can seventy-eight cents buy you? Obviously a disgrace masquerading as a movie.

I'd rather watch "Ghost Dad" instead.


|| Home Page | Welcome | Contents | Staff | Support Us ||

Back to the top