Dear White People* 2014

dear white people
T. Thompson, M. Richardson and Black Activist cast/image:

Well, this movie was an interesting piece. It was very reminiscent of  Spike Lee‘s style of film making, but with a fresher and a more balanced viewpoint about the white and black sides of the issue of race among young people in American college/culture today. As it didn’t divide the audience like Lee’s movies tended to do. Have race relations changed much from the Spike Lee days of the 80’s? Perhaps, which is good but there are issues which still prevail in our society here in the US and Justin Simien addresses them with more humor and less anger which was refreshing and entertaining.

The Premise…

Sam White, Tessa Thompson, is a mixed race black activist and radio host for a talk show called “Dear White People.” Sam does the show from her college campus and as she speaks to different stereotypes white people might have about black people she calls them out about it on the radio. Sam also by the urging of her black activist friends and dorm mates, decides to run for dorm president. In the mean time she has secrets, secrets that are contrary to her activist radio show and new candidacy for office. And if the secrets were to come out she would be called out and discredited herself. 

The Ivy League cast/image:
The Ivy League cast/image:

Since Sam likes to call others out, she’s about to get her own comeuppance as some of the other black students are about to get their’s too. Then, with human contradictions running rampant everywhere like in life all the character’s have their own brand of hypocrisy going on. The acting here was top-notch and everyone in the movie was spot on for their specific archetypal characters. For instance, there was a black girl Colandrea ‘Coco’ Conners, Teyonah Parriswho was somewhat of a wannabe white girl with dark skin, straight hair weave, and blue contact lenses. Then there’s the white guy, Mitch, Keith Myers who tries to speak like a black guy but lives in a privileged ivy league fraternity house and is rivaling with Sam’s activist dorm and radio program.

The Sum Up…

With very funny one liners, and a good soundtrack, and strong story, the movie manages midway through to become a better movie than it starts out being. The dialog is fast and spoken in current young people dialect so I admit, I missed or didn’t understand everything being said. (Wow, since I’m an early gen X’r, I don’t understand young people anymore or pop culture, and that’s unfortunate). The actors were very compelling and fresh and for the most part new faces to the movie scene. With a few older generation faces like,  Dean Fairbanks, Dennis Haysbert, to give the movie some weight so us oldies wouldn’t feel left out. The movie get’s a B ~ NOTE WORTHY, see either in theaters or on DVD but see it, as it also gets a SAFETY ALERT, for language, sex scenes, drug use, 2 dubious relationships, and subject matter. The movie started off kind of confusing and slow but sped up once the first act was over, and for that I would say it’s a movie to see twice just to catch all the dialog, especially if you have a comprehension problem like I guess I do. This movie isn’t for kids under 17, and this movie is rated R (limited release). 



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