EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|GIRL 6 (director: Spike Lee; screenwriter: Suzan-Lori Parks; cinematographer: Malik Sayeed; editor: Sam Pollard; music: Prince; cast: Theresa Randle (Judy/Girl 6), Isaiah Washington (Shoplifter), Spike Lee (Jimmy), Jenifer Lewis (Boss 1-Lil), Quentin Tarantino (Director 1/Q.T.), Richard Belzer (Caller 4), Halle Berry (Moviestar Lady), John Turturro (Murray the Agent), Madonna (Boss 3), Debi Mazar (Girl 39), Naomi Campbell (Girl 75), Ron Silver (Director 2), Susan Batson (Acting Coach), Michael Imperioli (Scary Caller #30); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Spike Lee; Fox Searchlight Pictures; 1996)|
as fulfilling as phone-sex."
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
plotless pic about the phone-sex business directed by Spike Lee
("Crooklyn"/"She's Gotta Have It"/"Do The Right Thing"), that's just
about as fulfilling as phone-sex. It's
diverting in its comical depiction of the phone-sex racket, but loses
its sense of comedy and rings hollow when it tries to do more-- like
become serious. This is one of
Lee's lesser films.
Judy (Theresa Randle) is a divorced (from kleptomaniac hubby played by Isaiah Washington), feisty, young African-American college grad and aspiring actress from Queens, who gets frustrated when auditioning for Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino and told to show her boobs. Refusing to strip after reluctantly showing her breasts, she bolts from the audition. Her agent (John Turturro) thereby dumps her as undesirable. Then her acting coach (Susan Batson) yells at her to grow up and refuses to give her more lessons. Needing money to pay the bills, Judy gets hired as Girl 6 in a phone sex hustle and finds she feels safe and in control. The socially disapproved job becomes a cathartic experience where she learns to see herself better and becomes liberated, though her baseball card collector hall neighbor, Jimmy (Spike Lee), keeps putting her down for working with perverts and advises her to be doing something more positive with her life (not bad advice, if you want my two cents).
Problem is no insights are revealed into
Judy's undeveloped character; but she carries this weakly scripted film
on her back and is charming as she does perceptive
impersonations of Dorothy Dandridge and Pam Grier. For dramatic
tension, Lee has Girl 6 enjoying her job too much and letting her guard
down to become involved with a crazy (Peter
Berg), who has fantasies about killing
prostitutes. Lee also goes early New Wave Godard on us and has phones
falling from the sky and other strange scenes loaded with meaningless
metaphors penned by playwright
Parks. In the end, Lee seems too anxious to make a million points that
mostly are not worth making and reach only predictable conclusions, as
the pic falls apart and is held together only by Randle's sincere
There are many cameos throughout for the star gazing viewer, that include Madonna, Turturro, Tarantino, Ron Silver, Halle Berry, Richard Belzer and Naomi Campbell.
REVIEWED ON 7/12/2011 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ