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Friday

What She said:

She

I watched Friday on a Saturday night.  Seems a little wrong, but in fact, I did.  That’s ok, because this 1995 comedy works fine just about any day of the week.  It’s a breezy comedy satire about life in the ‘hood, or at least one day in the life. 

Craig seems like a fairly mild-mannered fella.  Unfortunately, he was just fired from his job…on his day off.  Several people are quick to ask him how this is possible, but all Craig knows is that it’s real and it’s happened to him.  While Craig’s father wants him to get his butt back out there and find another job, Craig has decided to take a Friday off, and spend the day chilling with his friend Smokey.   Now, I do not believe that Smokey is Craig’s friend’s God-given name, as it’s very quickly apparent why he rolls with this nickname.  Smokey likes to smoke weed, lots and lots of it.  He loves it so much that when a drug dealer gave him $200 worth to sell, Smokey went ahead and took care of it all himself instead.  Woops.  And now Smokey has 24 hours to return the money or he’s in big trouble.  Of course, Smokey drags Craig into this, which sort of puts a damper on his unemployment.

Friday

Smokey and Craig have another festering problem as well.  Deebo, the resident bully.  The guy seems to have the intellectual capacity of a second grader, except he’s been blessed with the body of a WWE wrestler.  And he makes everyone in the neighborhood suffer.  Whenever Deebo rolls in on his obviously stolen child’s bike, you must be quick to hide your jewelry.  Deebo will literally walk up to people, frisk them, and take anything they may have of value.  He has that sort of a stronghold on them.  So as Craig and Smokey struggle to deal with their issue with drug dealer Big Worm, they also have Deebo breathing down their backs all day.  Things eventually come to a head, and all pretty humorous.

Now, I don’t know what life in the ‘hood is like.  I’m a suburban child.  But, Friday makes it all seem pretty comical.  Every character in this film is a caricature of reality.  Ice Cube stars as Craig, but also had his hand in writing this film, and so they took real issues that face those living in the’ hood and amplified them in a comedic way.  This makes for a very funny movie, but also one that’s probably an insult to those who face the actual issues of life in a place like this.  But for the movie-going masses, Friday is just a hilarious movie to watch with your buds while you booze it up.  And yes, that’s sort of its purpose, as I’d think this movie would appeal more to the college-aged generation than anyone with children, unless you have a slightly immature sense of humor.  Like a case of Milwaukee’s Best, this film is best served with friends and Doritos. 

Since the characters in this movie are over-the-top, it goes without saying that the acting is as well.  I can think of no better person to play Smokey than Chris Tucker. This is one of his earlier roles, but he applies all the charm that he brought to his characters in The Fifth Element and the Rush Hour movies.  It’s a shame he sort of fell off the radar for a while, because he was a good talent in his hey-day.  Another notable from this movie is John Witherspoon, who plays Craig’s dad.  You never know what is going to come out of his mouth.  While he seems non-sensible, he actually has some wisdom to impart on Craig.  Unfortunately, Craig is not quick to heed any of his advice.

At a quick and painless 1 hour and 32 minutes, Friday is an easy one to get through, with many laughs from start to finish.  It will feel dated, since it oozes mid-90s, but it’s still a lot of fun, and if you lived in the 90s you will surely still be able to relate.

Thumbs up

Friday

What He said:

He

Craig (Ice Cube) just got fired from his job. He doesn’t seem too concerned about it at the moment though, because it is Friday and he plans to enjoy the long weekend. He has no set plans, but simply intends to enjoy the extra time.

His buddy Smokey (Chris Tucker) shows up at his house and the two of them decide to do nothing together. They spend the day sitting on the front porch listening to music, talking to whoever crosses their path, and smoking weed. This may not sound terribly exciting on the surface, but I can assure you the cast of characters the encounter make this ratherr mundane day – in the hood at least – extremely entertaining. That's sort of the beauty of the movie. The movie is essentially about "nothing". It is very Seinfeldian in that sense.

Friday

Their biggest and most memorable visitors are Big Worm (Faizon Love) and Deebo (Tommy “Tiny” Lister). Big Worm is a local drug dealer who has given Smokey $200 worth of weed to sell. Now you might have noticed Smokey’s name is…well Smokey. If you haven’t picked up on it already, Smokey likes to smoke weed more than he likes to sell it. Smokey also manages to get Craig involved in this mess too. When Worm confronts him about it, Smokey says he was going to sell it until him and Craig ran into some trouble (even though Craig has nothing to do with it). Big Worm doesn’t care about any of that. All he wants is his money. He tells Smokey that they owe him $200 by 10:00 that same night or he will kill them. Deebo is the neighborhood bully. He goes around the neighborhood taking money, jewelry, and whatever else he can get his rather large hands on. He does little more than steal people’s belongings, break into their houses, or beat them up. He is a monster of a man and nobody is able to stop him (he’s played by a former WWF and WCW wrestler).

While these two characters have the biggest impact on Craig and Smokey’s day, they aren’t the only colorful people they encounter that day. Ezel is a thief, beggar, and a pest who will do just about anything for money (this scene gets me every time). Then there’s Felicia. She’s a junkie who always wants something from someone. This chick would ask for the clothes you are wearing if she thought it could get her some drugs. I can’t forget Craig’s dad either (played by John Witherspoon). This guy is absolutely hysterical. He’s an honest man, a good father, but total goofball. The guy has no shame at all either. I love John Witherspoon’s performance in this movie. Everything that comes out of his mouth is hilarious. Then you’ve got Bernie Mac (R.I.P.) as the local pastor. This guy is about as genuine as a snake oil salesman.  He’s as much as a mooch as Felicia or Ezel and definitely much more slimy. At least they don’t pretend to be something they’re not. These are only a few people they come across that day too.

So, Craig and Smokey have to figured out a way to get Worm his money, avoid Deebo’s wrath, and somehow get this all done with all of these people popping up throughout the day.

This movie is absolutely hilarious. It’s filled with funny characters and one good joke after another.  Chris Tucker and John Witherspoon are a riot in this movie. They’re probably the best parts about it. But when a movie has so many different characters – and good ones – pulling their weight it’s hard to single out just a few. Watch a couple of the clips I linked to above. Whenever Ice Cube interacts with Witherspoon it’s hysterical. Just the way Craig looks at his crazy dad is funny. He doesn’t even have to say anything. Ice Cube doesn’t have the comedic talent the other two actors do, but they really take advantage at what he’s good at – making faces. And like I mentioned above, the movie is filled with colorful supporting and background characters. I remember when this came out I was in high school. All the guys my age were quoting this movie. I still quote it today. It’s that funny to me.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was written for your reading pleasure on April 4, 2014.

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