So I watched Friday…
As with Die Hard last week, this is another classic that I hadn’t got around to watching. Friday is definitely one of those and thank God I’ll now be able to join in on conversations about this movie instead of vaguely nodding and faking a smile.
Okay, basic plot: Craig (Ice Cube) is having a rough time after just losing his job. His best friend, Smokey (Chris Tucker) comes over to chill with Craig and the two spend the entire day on Craig’s front porch watching the events of their local neighbourhood unfold. This involves nearly getting robbed, unsavoury dealings with drug dealers, encounters with overbearing girlfriends and numerous death threats. At the end of it all, it turns out to be a Friday the pair will never forget.
This movie is a real slow-starter but then again, a lot of movies made in the 80’s and 90’s were. They all had this compulsory introductory period before things really kicked off. It isn’t a major problem but for the first ten or so minutes, you’re just kinda waiting for the movie to settle down and get into its stride; and when it does, it’s an absolute riot. This movie is incredibly funny! I mean, laugh out loud funny not just smile at the screen funny.
This was Chris Tucker’s acting debut and boy, does he knock it out of the park. He’s fast-mouthed, brash, arrogant and since it’s the beginning of his career all of these qualities that I love in him are still raw and unpolished. His performance has a diamond-in-the-rough feel to it but you can feel the potential he has for fame and fortune. Ice Cube also puts in a entertaining turn in this film and is clearly the more experienced of the two. The beauty of Ice Cube is his ever-present, grumpy scowl. Because he always looks angry, everything he says is instantly funnier. Don’t ask me why, I just know that it is. Tucker is the funnier of the two but without Cube’s steely demeanour to bounce off of, all his jokes would fall flat.
The rest of the cast is composed of some real heavyweights in the black entertainment scene, with names like Nia Long, John Witherspoon, Regina King and Anna Maria Horsford. This film is well acted, nothing that’s going to bring home an Oscar but everyone does well bringing their characters to life.
The great thing about this film is that it’s a ‘day in the life’ experience. It isn’t preaching some message of world peace or trying to change the world, it just offers a glimpse into the world our characters find themselves in. This was the directorial debut for F. Gary Gray (who would later go on to direct Straight Outta Compton) and I do think this story is often not as well put together as it could be. It’s his first film and it is a cult classic so any minor errors in editing and focused storytelling can be forgiven.
Overall, Friday is absolutely hilarious – Chris Tucker is phenomenal and Ice Cube puts in a wonderful deadpan performance. This is a classic so obviously it merits watching and I’ll think you’ll enjoy it when you do.