March 16, 2007, - 2:19 pm

Weekend Box Office: Ghetto-Sexual vs. Melodramatic Groundhog Day

By Debbie Schlussel
Neither of the two big new releases, this weekend, are great. But one is far worse than the other. The choices are sort of sex-specific, as I predict men will like the Chris Rock comedy more and women will likely prefer the emotional thriller:
* “I Think I Love My Wife“: I Think I Hate This Movie. You know a movie isn’t exactly a masterpiece, when the promotional material they give out is thong underwear with a giant tag, featuring clever but sleazy dialogue from the movie relating to Latifah-wear (granny panties) vs. “tag and a–” (the only thing Chris Rock wants to see when looking at his wife’s underwear). Was this a movie or a night at SCORES with party favors?

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If Chris Rock, who stars in and wrote this movie, set out to single-handedly throw out the achievement of the Huxtables in showing America that Black middle class professional families are just like White ones, he succeeded in spades. Good-bye, Heathcliff Huxtable, MD. Hello, vulgar ghetto-sexual hiding inside a fancy suit and a classy suburban house.
I simply can’t understand why the Black audience with whom I screened this movie were eating up this vulgar portrayal of middle-class Black American men as sex-obsessed, vulgar lowlifes whose every other word is either the F-word or the N-word (which is odd since, not long ago, Rock pledged to stop using the N-word; I guess he forgot). But ate it up, they did. And that’s why this stupid, rarely funny, racist movie will likely top the box, this weekend.
I like Chris Rock as a comedian. He’s funny. But his choice of movies is in the toilet. And this one is the epitome of that. A bored upper-middle-class Black investment banker (Rock) can’t get sex from his strict, lecturing, perfect wife. One day, a beautiful woman he had a crush on in college enters his office. And for most of the movie, he does the flirting dance with her. He wants to have an affair with her, but in the process of the chase turns his life upside down.
While the end message in this movie is ultimately a good one, the journey to get their is base, coarse, and very low-class. The many hard-working, successful Black professionals in America don’t need racist White moviemakers to take them down a notch. Chris Rock did the job for them, all with Black America enabling the guy. And they’ll enable him more, this weekend by sending a message to Hollywood that this kind of movie sells.
The best actor in the movie is not Rock but very minor co-star Steve Buscemi, who plays a philandering co-worker of Rock’s. He was the only funny thing in what is supposed to be a comedy, but doesn’t deliver the laughs that a Rock monologue does. Oh, and it was just thrilling (NOT) watching Stephen A. Smith on-screen, pretending to be an actor in a scene in which Rock and wife discuss the Jews with a fellow upscale Black couple.
Best line in the movie, which is essentially the movie’s questionable–but very true–moral message is delivered by Edward Herrmann, playing Rock’s boss:

You’ll lose a lot of money chasing women, but you’ll never lose women chasing money.

That line got the most applause and from the audience. Mildly entertaining, but skip this one–even if you’re a guy who likes male fantasy movies. In the end, this ain’t it. It’s just gratuitously crass with no purpose.

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* “Premonition“: This psychological thriller starts out very well, but it gets so melodramatic with women screaming, shrieking, moaning, and crying, I thought I might be watching a Lifetime movie of the week. While it’s overall entertaining and engrossing, it’s a mix of chick-flick and thriller. Sometimes the mixture goes together like oil and water, as it did at times in this one.
Sandra Bullock plays a wife and mother of two children who gets premonitions that her husband will die in a car accident. One day he dies. The next day he’s still alive. Her days are out of order, and she soon realizes she is seeing into the future.
While it’s different and interesting, it has points where characters enter the story that really don’t belong and take away from the movie–like an eerie psychiatrist at a mental hospital. It’s interesting that Sandra Bullock chose to do this melodramatic women’s version of “Groundhog Day,” since she also did the time warp movie, “The Lake House,” last year. I liked “The Lake House.” And while I liked this one, it wasn’t as good.
The message of this movie, often true, is that you can’t change fate. But you can improve upon the circumstances. I liked the spirituality of the movie and its inclusion of Christianity and faith in G-d.

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6 Responses

“I simply can’t understand why the Black audience with whom I screened this movie were eating up this vulgar portrayal of middle-class Black American men as sex-obsessed, vulgar lowlifes whose every other word is either the F-word or the N-word (which is odd since, not long ago, Rock pledged to stop using the N-word; I guess he forgot). But ate it up, they did. And that’s why this stupid, rarely funny, racist movie will likely top the box, this weekend.”
Becuase the psychonuts running society has brainwashed the gullible, ghetto-ized, ignorant blacks into believing that this is “our” culture. And this movie reflects the self eletist racism that makes me feel ashamed to be a black american. I’m 24 years old, and I can’t find a friend the same color as me…becuase in order to be accepted, I have to be a thug and to “act” black. Even young whites think the same way.
The problem is, the mainstream media has droven Bill Cosby into hiding. Becuase he feels the same way as me, when he spoke out about these problems with blacks in this country…he was called “uncle tom” and every other name under the sun. There are so few blacks like us, that we have no power to stand up and fight this misrepersentation of blacks in america.
SQUIRREL3D:
PLEASE E-MAIL ME. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE SOME INFO WITH YOU THAT I THINK WILL INTEREST YOU.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

Squirrel3D on March 16, 2007 at 3:27 pm

What’s wrong with racism? Everybody in the whole world is racist, except some of the white people.

davidlanham on March 16, 2007 at 8:04 pm

Debbie, in answer to your question regarding why African American audiences appear to gobble up fodder like Rock’s current effort-it’s because they do not have a choice. Or I should say CHOICES. Thanks to the liberal agenda with corporate collusion, it has been determined that the ghettoized image for people of color is the “authentic” one. Despite the fact the Black folk are as diverse as any other people-whether we have varying looks, politics, nationalities and class designations-the gherttoized image is the one that is ALWAYS chosen for a cinematic portrayal in some form or another. No one assumes that Appalachian/Cracker culture defines White culture but someone has decided that the ghetto literally defines blackness…it has been a disturbing trend. Perhaps this overt push by the media for this minstrel imagery is why I have switched from the liberal(and victimization standard) political persuasion to the conservative…it is imperative for other folks of color to do the same in order to combat these portrayals. Rock seemed to be going in such a direction from his “Bring the Pain” special but he still must work in a liberal setting and hence “I Think I Love My Wife” is produced. Perhaps I can garner an audience like yourself to see reason…one can only hope.
http://www.afronerd.com
http://www.afronerdradio.com

dburt aka Afronerd on March 17, 2007 at 10:38 pm

Chris Rock is just another charter member of “JAMF”(Jive-Ass MotherF****r) who think he’s funny but falls pathetically short. Years ago I watched about 2 minutes of him on an HBO Comedy special and promptly channel-surfed to something more intellectually stimulating.
It’s self-proclaimed “icons” like him who give the blacks a bad name and should really be listed in the ranks of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and those other legends-in-their-own-minds who have done more to decimate than aid the black people.

1shot1kill on March 19, 2007 at 7:41 am

HOUSENIGGER ALERT—Chris Rock, who stars in and wrote this movie, set out to single-handedly throw out the achievement of the Huxtables in showing America that Black middle class professional families are just like White ones???
When my cousin “Ducky” came up from Jamaica over 30 years ago, i used to teasingly say, “Hey you fine BLACK thang” to which she’d indignantly reply, “I’m not BLACK, I’m *brown,*” even though she was off-beige…and were it not for her “nigger” lips, she could ALMOST pass for white.
Unlike y’all here in Amerikkka, MY family that stayed in Jamaica led a Kennedyesque type lifestyle—mansions, maids, cooks, pools, stables, etc., you get the drift.
Having come to THIS cuntry a decade before she came here with her dying mother, who sought treatment for cancer that was unfortunately unavailble in Jamaica, i felt it my DUTY to hip her to the final solutionizing racism that is an unwritten part of the Amerikkklan creed, and she houseniggerly fought MY attempts to school her on the credo of THIS country—ALL men are ‘created’ equal…Dred Scott.
It wasn’t until she had kids of her own…little off-Black pickaninnies, that she discovered a nigger ain’t shit…no matter how devoutedly she geneflected to that WHITE Jesus.
Chris Rock is just another charter member of “JAMF”(Jive-Ass MotherF****r)—guess i’m JIVE too…the white man STILL the devil, and IF my cousin Ducky was STILL a Huxtable-mad Nigress, wouldn’t have no qualms about capping her if the untelevised revolution ever came about.

EminemsRevenge on March 19, 2007 at 1:52 pm

“And this movie reflects the self eletist racism that makes me feel ashamed to be a black american. I’m 24 years old, and I can’t find a friend the same color as me…becuase in order to be accepted, I have to be a thug and to “act” black. Even young whites think the same way.”
SQUIRREL3D, you say you can’t find a friend who is the same color as you because you have to act like a thug to be accepted. Exactly where do you live? What’s your level of education? Where do you go for social interaction? There is great diversity among Black folks, so when I hear people make statements like you did, it really makes me wonder about YOU. Exactly where are you trying to find “Black” friends? Is it church? Professional clubs and organizations? Does your city have a spot where young Black professionals hang out? I went to a meeting last night where I met several young Black engineers and business people around your age and no one was acting “thuggish”. There are young educated Black folks out there doing some incredible things and not wasting time living up…or in this case down, to society’s expectations of them.
Unfortunately, Chris Rock and a few other Black filmmakers are lately appealing to cheap laughs, stereotypes, and the lowest common denominator. And Hollywood is greenlighting these projects for their own profit. And the Black masses (not all, but many) feed into our own destruction by radio, television,and film.
But later for all that….If you are truly looking for Black “friends” and are only finding those trying to act thuggish, you need to examine your own background and the stereotypes that YOU hold, and then change the venues in which you are seeking these friends.

JibberJabber on March 20, 2007 at 10:51 am

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