Friday (November 17/02)
It's really a testament to the charisma of Ice Cube that Friday works. It doesn't contain much in the way of a storyline - the entire movie is essentially a couple of guys hanging out - but it remains semi-entertaining due mostly to Cube's easy-going nature and personable attitude.
Friday casts Cube as Craig, a guy who's still living with his parents and has just lost his job (on his day off, a fact which baffles everyone around him). The entire film takes place over a particularly tumultuous Friday, as Craig and his buddy Smokey (Chris Tucker) hang out and interact with a variety of odd characters. One such character is Debo, a vicious and seemingly unstoppable neighborhood bully, who provokes fear in Craig and his friends (to the extent that, when they see Debo coming around, they hide their valuables to prevent him from stealing them).
Friday's one of those movies that's been unapologetically made for a very specific demographic - the black audience. Though I was able to enjoy the film for what it was, a plotless romp in the spirit of those Cheech and Chong flicks of the '70s, much of the humor sailed right over my caucasian head. In fact, while I had occasion to chuckle once or twice, laughter was nowhere to be heard during my private screening (ie it was just me and my cat). Still, the fact that the comedy in Friday requires a certain upbringing and background to be appreciated doesn't necessarily hinder one from enjoying the movie; the film does have other elements to offer. The chemistry between Craig and Smokey is what keeps Friday afloat, and indeed, makes the majority of the movie watchable even through the occasional dull moments and uninspired subplots (anything to do with Craig's father, over-played by John Witherspoon, falls into that category).
Though the film is instantly forgettable and a tad overlong, Friday is nevertheless enjoyable enough due mostly to the easy-going vibe that presides over the picture.