A new couple and their families find themselves examining modern love and family dynamics amidst clashing cultures, societal expectations and generational differences in this brilliant comedy from Kenya Barris.
Eddie Murphy is at his finest as he plays Arkbar, Lauren London’s ultra kool pro black father who never shies away from the past and present struggles that his people is forced to deal with on a day to day basis. A surprising role for the Entertainment legend whose films for the most part have played it socially neutral and free of political and racial statements and themes.
Murphy is still so naturally funny and dominates scene after scene. At times reminiscent of his phenom days on SNL.
His former not ready for prime time player cast mate and Seinfeld legend, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, is equally outstanding as she navigates the role of the overly supportive African American sympathizer and mom of Jonah Hill.
Jonah shares the writers credit with Kenya Barris and clearly offers a refreshing balance with the many social issues that this film courageously tackles with the greatest of ease. Not only did Jonah produce the film, is also a perfect fit for the roll of Ezra who quickly learns that there’s much that he has to learn about race relations, and unconditional love.
Jonah also share powerful performances with his gay best friend, and business partner Mo, brilliantly played by comedian and SNL writer – Sam Jay. Their popular pod cast is on the rise giving them both the platform to voice many thought provoking points of view.
Jonah and Lauren London’s on screen romance works hard and eventually convinces the audience that their union can really work despite family approval and public scrutiny.
The entire cast is witty and sharp, competing with each other for on screen excellence. But clearly all of them have their moments. Comedian guest stars like, Anthony Anderson, Deon Cole and Mike Epps sprinkle the screen with their genius providing the catalyst for even more laughs.
The film does a great job with making real difficult and awkward moments in human behavior seem easier to digest and approach. Something Barris had a lot of practice on perfecting while producing his hit ground breaking series “Blackish” on ABC.
Your rewind button will get plenty exercise because every joke and social commentary in the dialogue pulls you in and never lets go. I can definitely see folks watching this one over and over and it may make for solid reference material for scholars, politicians, family meetings and university study.
Not since Spike Lee’s “Do The Right Thing” has a film achieved such important balance of comedy and a much needed conversational piece. Instant Classic🍿!