A social satire that follows the stories of four black students at an Ivy League college where controversy breaks out over a popular but offensive black-face party thrown by white students. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, the film explores racial identity in acutely-not-post-racial America while weaving a universal story of forging one's unique path in the world.Written by
Sofia derisively tells Coco that she knows to ask whether or not Coco's hair is "weaved" because she had to watch Chris Rock's 2009 documentary Good Hair (2009) for a class. When Dear White People was released on DVD, the first trailer that appeared in front of the movie was for Good Hair. See more »
The flame on the candle in Sam's room on Halloween night is static, revealing that it is fake. See more »
Dear white people, the minimum requirement of black friends needed to not seem racist has just been raised to two. Sorry, but your weed man, Tyrone, does not count.
See more »
The end credits include photographs of the real-life blackface (and brownface) college parties that inspired the film's climax. See more »
Justin Simien's directorial debut should be lauded for its ambition, but as both a director and screenwriter, he has a long ways to go. An attractive cast of varying ability is saddled with an overstuffed script that has unnecessary subplots and diversions (while still having a convenient economy of characters), leaving a movie that lurches around from plot point to plot point, with some areas of that plot being underdeveloped and unconvincing.
Meanwhile, Simien the director is all over clever visuals and storytelling devices, yet he has a hard time dealing with various tones of the movie. More importantly, the pace of the film is leaden, which sucks the life out of some of the potentially humorous situations, while making some of the social commentary come off as more strident than need be. A lot of scenes feature awkward staging, with some actors seeming to not know what to do as a scene winds down.
The result is a movie with more than its fair share of nice moments and some winning performances, with almost no cohesion whatsoever. This is a shame, as Simien makes some good points throughout the movie on the state of race relations in America.
Roger Ebert noted that it's not necessarily what a movie is about, but how it is about it. The high praise for this movie represents the flip side of this notion, as it's getting plaudits for what it's about rather than its execution.
45 of 63 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this