October 9, 2003

Deliver Us From (Netflix)

Just because we haven't mentioned it in awhile, doesn't mean that Cinecultist isn't still madly in love with Netflix. CC Heart those DVDs in little red envelopes delivered right to our door, especially since we've been crazy busy lately working for The Man. This last weekend CC watched Deliver Us From Eva which we expected to merely add to our extensive list of rom coms (a "seen it, check it off") but instead we found it delightful, a smart rip on Shakespeare's the Taming of the Shrew with two top notch performances from Gabrielle Union and LL Cool J.

gabrielle union and ll cool jImagine if you will, a Kate who needs to be tamed because she's obsessive compulsive, a germ-phobe and a busy body. And she works as a restaurant inspector. It may seem trite, but Gabrielle carries off Eva's ticks and bitchiness with comic flare. She really can give a performance, rather than just standing in as Hottie McHotHot #2 (after Eva Mendes' #1) as she did in this summer's Bad Boys II. She certainly is beautiful, and in particular the shots of the four sisters strutting to their theme song are case in point, but this girl has a screen presence that belies her looks. We also want to add LL, aka James Todd Smith, into our pantheon of favorite rappers-turned-actors with Ice-T (on Law and Order: SVU) and Ice Cube (in Three Kings not Anaconda). Sure we've seen this character arc before, the player who wooes the girl for cash but then really falls for her, but weirdly James makes it believable. He matches Gabrielle well in terms of confidence on screen and they're both so likeable, CC could forgive them any sort of predictable plot turn. Except for perhaps that buying her the horse bit at the end, and then riding off on it into the sunset. Literally. That was a little much even for CC.

Other African-American cast romantic comedies we recommend (Okay, fine. CC also owns them on DVD. 'Cause they're damn good. Honest.): Love and Basketball with Sanaa Latham and Omar Epps as basketball playing sweethearts, Love Jones with Nia "I'm a photographer" Long and Larenz "Look, I'm a poet" Tate as arty lovers in Chicago, and Brown Sugar again with Sanaa, this time paired with Taye Diggs, who love each other and hip hop.

Posted by karen at October 9, 2003 7:50 AM