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The Bottom Shelf #118

07.26.2007

This summer there are a slew of movies which struggled to make a PG-13 rating. Those that struggled less than others are still filled with a ton of violence. Those featuring boobs and bad language were down for the count before the battle even started. Yet, there's a certain charm to boobs and "bitches." They "R" the fabric on which our great nation remains the leader of the free world, right?

SOL GOODE (2001)
Directed by: Danny Comden
Starring: Balthazar Getty, Jamie Kennedy

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I'm struggling to figure out who the hell Danny Comden is because whomever he is, wherever he was spawned from, that's the place I want to be. There are more people in this movie who were all fringe actors for some really good stuff (ranging from Getty and Kennedy to Tori Spelling, Carmen Electra, Jason Bateman, Jared Leto and Cheri Oteri) in addition to doing some just plain good stuff. Comden wrote and directed the movie as well as cast himself as Cooper, the party-dude ultra-metrosexual best friend of the lead character. He gets to cuddle up to Carmen and Jared. So what gives?

Especially when the movie isn't all that inspired. A slacker who finds his time for mooching has run out and he needs to face the real world, Getty is the least inspiring actor in this entire picture. He grunts and groans his way through most of it, trying out the "constipated look works for all emotions" angle. The bullshit angle of falling in love with his best friend might not be so bullshitty if he didn't predictably have that really cool chick friend that all guys in this style of movie have. There's a happy ending that isn't deserved and well, frankly the movie as a whole is a mess.

BUT... there are portions of this movie that are really funny. Comden himself is much better as an actor than he manages to be as a director or writer. His narcissistic character of Cooper is someone that everyone can relate to, with the excessive amounts of hair gel and fussing over his body hair. Tori Spelling rocks her uber-slut character in a way that's deliciously funny when you enter in all of her previous work. There are great observations about the work force and the club scene that might have worked better if written a little tighter or directed with more concentration. SOL GOODE really tries to be good, and it was wearing the right underwear, but sadly, it just doesn't deliver the punch of Johnathon Schaech's pecker sight gag. Still, it's worth watching if you want to see Leto knocked down a peg. The guy always seemed like such a douche to me, but it appears that he might actually have a sense of humour about himself.

Favorite Scene:

When Kennedy and his character's girlfriend are in bed having the argument over where he should deposit his seed.

Favorite Line:

"An L.A. Skyline - Half ice tea, half lemonade. The ice tea represents the smog and the lemonade is for the sun."

Trivia Tidbit:

China Chow, the actress who plays Amber, the chick that Kennedy's character hooks up with at the bar, previously only know for being the kidnapping fodder in THE BIG HIT, looked so much like Linda Cardellini (and sounded like her too) that I'm still unconvinced that it wasn't her.

See if you liked:

HAROLD AND KUMAR GO TO WHITE CASTLE, HALF BAKED, OLD SCHOOL

BOOTY CALL (1997)
Directed by: Jeff Pollack
Starring: Jamie Foxx, Tommy Davidson

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-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

I'm your standard little white girl. I grew up in a moderately populated town in California, an hour's drive North of Los Angeles. I was a fan of overprocessed pop music when I was a kid, overprocessed heavy metal music when I was a pre-teen and underprocessed grunge when I was a teenager. I grew up as Wonder Bread as possible. But the one thing that I loved unabashedly was the television show "In Living Color," a comedy sketch show with a mostly black cast and decidedly racial points of view from time to time that I shouldn't (and sometimes didn't) have caught onto. It was a show that was able to retain its stance in American "sub"culture while still remaining very accessible to a wide audience.

That's how I see BOOTY CALL. While the cast is again mostly black (and with two "Color" alumnus in Foxx and Davidson), and while many of the jokes being cracked are supposed to apply to that demographic, the movie is still hilarious in all skin shades. The movie is simple in its approach, a man dating a woman for seven weeks goes on a double date with a friend of his and a friend of hers. The friends are supposed to be running their interference for the couple but instead get right to fighting and then move directly into hooking up. Perhaps the movie does benefit from having the black cast, as most white cast movies would have had the foursome pussyfoot around getting to the action. In any case, they jump right into the illusion of making snap judgments, the idiocy of what "safe-sex" is supposed to equal in this day and age and the lengths to which everyone will go to break off a slice of a little "sumtin' sumtin'."

The movie suffers from a crappy title. I've known many a movie over the years which I turned my nose up at because it was labeled poorly and I know that when this movie was first released it was one of them. I caught it on cable and enjoyed the edited version so much that I had to go out and get it in its original cut. Tasteless and juvenile throughout most of its gags, there is still a heart behind this movie that usually is lacking in most films of its genre. Having two strong black female leads (Tamala Jones and Vivica A Fox) who are more smart, witty and successful than just being eye candy also helps. When the females in these movies are pretty and stupid, it's hard to laugh when the other characters are taking a poke at them, since you know that they don't possess the brain power to poke back. I used to tell people that BOOTY CALL was one of my biggest guilty pleasures, but quite frankly, I just don't feel guilty about liking it anymore.

Favorite Scene:

In the restaurant, the argument with the waiter (Gedde Watanabe, oddly uncredited in his role) when Foxx and Fox start yelling at him in Cantonese.

Favorite Line:

"What're you asking her for? She never made a man wait thirty minutes."

Trivia Tidbit:

Amazingly, the only movie that Pollack directed after this was David Spade's LOST AND FOUND.

See if you liked:

FRIDAY, DEUCE BIGALOW: MALE GIGOLO, AMERICAN PIE

I often wonder why I'm willing to shell out dough in order to look at someone else's tits when I have a quite lovely pair of my own that I can look at for free. Oh, that's right... because you can never go wrong with having too many tits around.

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