Saturday, February 14, 2015

THE LIST (2007)

Directed By: Brandon Sonnier 
Written By: Marcus Folmar 
Cinematography By: Graham Futerfas 
Editor: Tracy Wadmore-Smith 

Cast: Wayne Brady, Sydney Tamila Poitier, Illeana Douglas, Tatayana Ali, Brad Dourif, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Flex Alexander, Jane Lynch

Ever been dumped? In front of 20,000 people at a stadium, on live television!? LEWIS BOND, a dashing young executive, decides to get serious after this experience and creates a list (litmus test) that the right woman should match, to avoid another humiliation. However, when he thinks he has found her, she turns out to be not as perfect as he thought, leaving the risk averse Lewis to choose between what his head or heart tells him.

Let me start off by saying how happy I am to watch an African-American romantic comedy, where the romance is between two professionals and the romantic scenes are not played for laughs or lust. Giving a chance to show that African-Americans can have successful relationship full of mutual respect and know how to function in romantic situations because there are far too many films and shows that never show that aspect of African-American life and anytime a scene turns sweet some sort of ridiculous action happens, that is virtually embarassing. It has a strong high concept plot that is rather simple and works for many scenes and situations to be built off of.

This film has the sense to seperate the two, romance here and comedy over there. Having said that this film is nothing like how it is described.

The way it is described is that Sydney Poitier plays Wayne Brady's best friend and after Wayne gets dumped by his finance. She encourages him to get back in the dating field, but he then creates a list that every woman must adhere to when it comes to interest and personality. As Poitier tries to find him dates that do adhere to what he is looking for they then start to fall for each other as he finds the right one. She has fallen in love with him. Which was the film I was expecting.

What i got was Wayne getting dumped by his fiancé. His friends believe he needs to make a quick return to the dating field and he meets a woman with similar interests who he hits it off with, who then disappears. We later find out she is a struggling actress set-up to play the part of a woman with similar interests as him to boost his self confidence. She actually did like him, but has no time for a relationship. As she is in the process if getting divorced. They keep meeting cute and he has to maintain her false identity until he finally finds out the truth.

The film plays like an extended but cute episode of THREE’S COMPANY almost with all the mistaken identities and misunderstandings, but it is still a worthwhile movie to discover.

A nice attempt not a total success but good enough. Especially to help dispel some cinematic stereotypes.

Why Wayne Brady nor Sydney Poitier don't get as much work as they deserve is a mystery. They are warm personalities and performers. This is the rarity to see Wayne Brady play a leading role instead of a more comedic supporting and he is good here he dials back his energy but makes a handsome charming leading man who happens to be funny also. They both have charisma and chemistry and Ms. Poitier is a fox a stone cold beauty. Who has charm and intelligence. I look forward to her future on screen.

Grade: C+

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