Imagine what would happen if you put Boyz N The Hood, House Party and Friday in a blender.
At least, that’s my approximation of the most common statements from this film’s critics. This Sundance darling has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 100% with an audience score of 94%, and that’s based on just nine reviews thus far. Written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa (the auteur behind the films Brown Sugar and The Wood), the film is a coming-of-age story about the nerdy young Black teenager character that’s now gaining popularity no doubt in part to 2014’s Dear White People. The setting is the Inglewood, CA circa the mid-1990s with hip-hop culture and gang territories being the prevalent backdrops.
Judging from the nostalgic music and fashion sense, the film certainly boasts an appeal geared towards the people who remember that era and the hipsters who can only wish they were there. And that’s where it’s ambition to crossover will begin to take off.
The casting includes of Forest Whitaker, Zoë Kravitz, rapper A$AP Rocky, and Blake Anderson (of Comedy Central’s Workaholics). The connection between Workaholics and hip-hop (the nods, references and interaction between both sets of artists) lends further credence to the film’s desire to crossover into newer audiences. For the ever-present youth in me that came up in that era, I think this film warrants a viewing.
Produced by Forest Whitaker, Pharrell Williams and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, you can view the trailer here:
Sy L. Shackleford is a jack-of-all-trades columnist for Action A Go Go. A University of Connecticut graduate with a degree in both psychology and communication sciences, he is a walking encyclopedic repository for all things Marvel Comics, movies, hip-hop, et. al. You can follow him on Twitter @shack_house83.
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