Saturday, July 5, 2014
HOW TO BE A PLAYER (1997)
Directed By: Lionel C. Martin
Story By: Mark Brown
Written By: Mark Brown & Demetria Johnson
Editor: William Young
Cast: Bill Bellamy, Natalie Deselle Pierre Edwards, Lark Voorhies,Jermaine Hopkins, A.J. Johnson, Mari Morrow, Amber Smith, Elise Neal, Bernie Mac, Gilbert Gotfried, , Beverly Johnson, J. Anthony Brown, Jazsmin Lewis
Dray is a young playboy whose only objective in life seems to be to have sex with as many girls as he can without getting caught by his girlfriend Lisa. Dray's sister Jenny and her friend Katrina plan to show him that the way he lives is wrong and organize a party in Malibu, inviting all of his girlfriends.
I remember this film win heavily touted by MTV. An in house production starring one it's vj's at the time stand-up comedian bill Bellamy. It was advertised for it's eventually better than average soundtrack heavily. Which also ends up being it's most noteworthy quality
It is hard to really like or be entertained by a film in which you so heavily dislike the lead who is using women horribly. Second the film tries to showcase a few women who are smart, bit ends up making most of not all either just eye candy and sexual objects to be used only for such and who can't seem to resist the charms of Bill Bellamy sexually. No matter how sensible. I am all for a film showcasing the beauty of women, but then using them and demeaning them. Makes this film seems like a rap video from back In the day stretched out to 90 minutes and with more dialogue. It doesn't help that the film also presents is with little stakes for the characters and their situations.
An excuse for a film to be truly Misogynistic. Where most of the female characters are caricatures to wear less than enough clothes in and look good in short outfits. Being judged only for that quality. While in between we watch the male characters In what passes for comedic situations as they encounter, scheme and attempt to seduce these women --Even the ending is weak as he still gets what he wants and only has one snafu that realistically he can easily get himself out of though it is blown up as life changing.
Watching his film it seems to become more insulting the longer it goes. Especially as he dispenses so called tips an advice for picking up women. Many of which instantly dye the film. Even a cameo by Max Julien star of the film THE MACK seems like a waste but an obvious built in cameo. Even Natalie Deselle who seems to put a lot of energy into her role only for the performance to be wasted on this material.
Don't get me wrong the women throughout the film are beautiful, but their should be more to them and their characters then that. Sure hoeing African American women as sexy and beautiful is nice, but all it manages to do is focus on their sex appeal and present them as sexual objects and not as people or characters. So that it insult and demeans more then it helps.
An extended version of the seduction scene between Dre and Amber was shot but cut for time. The scene was over 7 minutes long. There is an extended version of the opening sex scene between Dre and Amber. The scene was edited down for time. It ran over 5 minutes. A deleted sex scene between Amber and Dre was cut. The scene was meant for the end of the film. Producers felt the scene was unnecessary and cut it. The scene ran 3 minutes 45 seconds. The only time the producers seem to find restraint in the whole film
It's obviously an my film that shows the depth the film lacks yet tries to impart to it's audience and especially seeming to be marketed to a young African American audience. Calling itself a comedy, bit more sad hen anything else.
It also look remarkably low budget, though tries to seem like it costs more