DEAR WHITE PEOPLE, every last one of them -- or nearly (a few seem not to have the smarts to consider such things) -- are almost desperate to discover their "place" in the world. While their current world consists of university life, they clearly have their eye set as well on the life to follow. Some of these folk are black, some are white, and some may be mixed race, but all are trying to figure out where they belong in terms of not just race but class. This is a terrific set-up for a modern-day, age-of-Obama movie, and I dearly wish that the writer/director Justin Simien had been able to do more with it.
Whit Stillman on a rare bad day. Or Spike Lee in his School Daze days, but without the pizazz. Nor do these characters seem to exist much beyond their "race" and "class" blather. That's what they're here for, and that's what they give us.
Phillip J. Bartell, of the Eating Out series. Whatever you might think of those films, they certainly had no pacing problems, so perhaps the responsibility remains in Simien's hands. In any case, maybe ten minutes could profitably have been cut from this too-long movie, had someone possessed the balls to just tighten it up.
Tessa Thompson (above) and Tyler James Williams (below, center) to name but two -- under better circumstances.
Lionsgate & Roadside Attractions and running 100 minutes -- opened yesterday, October 17, in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington DC. Click here to see theaters and further playdates.