EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|HOW TO MAKE LOVE TO A NEGRO WITHOUT GETTING TIRED (Comment faire l'amour avec un nègre sans se fatiguer) (director: Jacques W. Benoît; screenwriters: Dany Laferrière/Richard Sadler; cinematographer: John Berrie; editor: Dominique Roy; cast: Roberta Bizeau (Miz Literature), Myriam Cyr (Miz Suicide), Isaach De Bankole (Fluke), Maka Kotto (Bouba), Antoine Durand (Frederick), Jacques Legras (Typewriter Salesman), Marie-Josee Gauthier (Miz Mystic), Susan Almgren (Miz Duras), Alexander Innes (Miz Oh My God), Nathalie Coupal (Miz Dissillusioned), Isabelle L'Ecuyer (Miz Redhead), Patricia Tulasne (Miz Feminist), Tracy Ray (Miz Tickle-Tickle); Runtime: 100; Angelika Films; 1989-Canada)|
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
The provocative title tells it all, a pretentious satire on the myth of the Negro being a stud to white ladies. The film is adapted from the novel by Haitian author Dany Laferrière. The thin story never moves far away from its sophomoric attempt to shock and irritate a white male audience about its simplistic findings. It covers something that is certainly thought of in a very real way and taken to be a serious generalization by Western society. To accomplish this parody everyone in the film becomes a cliché figure, with the main stud taking on every positive sexual myth of his prowess.
It seems this film will have you believe that every white girl is dying to try out this sex God for themselves. The stud evokes what goes for a cool attitude, too willing to please one and all, as the film becomes ridiculously banal and racist in its theme. What makes this such an ugly film, is that the only thing that attracts the stud to the girls he chases after is the color of her skin. The white men are reduced to nerds or ugly sexless monsters, or who are violent drug pushers or policemen with a bad attitude. The film reduces everyone to what their color of skin is, as it fails to get at truths that are more than skin-deep. This is film that fell in love with its generalizations and can't go further than that, even failing to draw comic relief from its characterizations. If the main character in a spicy spoof like this can't be likable, then the film has no chance of succeeding.
It should have been a playful film. But it tried to make a forced case about racial prejudice, using absurd scenes to try and show how white men feel inferior to the Negro when it comes to sex and therefore will do anything to get back at the Negro.
This film probably does more harm to racial relations than it does good. It is a film that the KKK could easily agree with its findings, failing to see that the film was meant to be tongue-in-cheek.
In the Montreal setting, three carefree bachelors share an apartment: Bouba (Kotto) is a devout Moslem and is the resident sage who loves his sleep, Freud, tea, jazz, and a good conversation; Frederick (Durand) is a friendly but nerdy white boy, who rides his bike around the park and seems awkward around women; and, the main man is Fluke (Isaach De Bankole), whose main purpose in life is to score as many white chicks as he can by using his sexual prowess and affable charms. You can't insult him. He is also an aspiring writer, who takes his typewriter to the park where he writes a novel about his sexual adventures when he isn't too busy trying to pick up every white girl he sees.
Jacques W. Benoît's French-Canadian film is a dehumanizing experience, a film of missed opportunities to explore interracial relationships. It is so dehumanizing that it doesn't even give the girls real names the stud has sex with, they are just given names like Miz Literature, Miz Tickle-Tickle, Miz Redhead, and so on. The boring life of Fluke is made exciting by the one-night stands he has with the girls whom he picks up and then talks about them as if they were products. Outside of his sex, it is hard to find anything he does that is even remotely interesting. That he wishes to be a writer and succeeds at it by the film's finale typing as if he were banging on a drum, was hard to swallow. The only thing that was credible about the stud was the enormous ego he had, it must have been as big as his...well, you know what I mean.
REVIEWED ON 10/19/2000 GRADE: C-
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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