Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

‘A Good Day to be Black and Sexy’. This is the title of this independent film from young director Dennis Dortch and as it so happens I think I’m in a good position to watch this movie because I might know a little something about being Black and Sexy. I’m just saying is all I’m saying. Or maybe that’s Black and Dyslexic. I get the two confused. But what we have here with ‘Black and Sexy’ is a film about sex, love and romance told vignette style and I’ve seen a few of these vignette style movies with the majority of them being just plain awful, we’re looking at you ‘After Sex’, and one actually being pretty good. But this film here is different from those because this one here has Black people in it, a demographic that is near and dear to my heart. Of course this doesn’t mean for a split millisecond that this movie is going to be any good but considering that Hollywood seems scared to death of Black sexuality it does guarantee that I’m going to watch it.

Okay, so I’m trying to think of way to describe this movie and keep it clean. It ain’t gonna be easy because this one leans on the raunchy side. Our first story ‘Reciprocity’ starts out with a young man named Tony (Brandon Valley Jones) who has just finished orally servicing his girl Jeanette (Kathryn Taylor) to completion. Unfortunately for Tony he has just performed the sexual act that we used to call the ‘68’. That would be when you do me and I owe you one because despite his incessant pleas Tony is not getting a return favor. It sucks to be Tony right about now. So to speak. Somewhere he still begs.

In ‘Her Man’ D’Andre (Marcuis Harris) and Helena (Chonte Harris) have themselves just completed a little late morning delight, often interrupted by D’Andre’s constantly buzzing cell phone which has pissed off Helena to no end. The thing is D’Andre is a very busy cat with a lot on his plate, including a wife, which Helena is not, and children at home. Whatever the little arrangement these two have seems to be coming

to a crossroads which culminates in a large argument about respect and expectations. I don’t know much but do I know that if I’m cheating on my wife I would take great care to keep track of where I leave my cell phone. Hell, I wouldn’t even take it out the car.

‘Tonite’ features a young woman named Tamala (Mylika Davis) out on a date, in a car, on her birthday with her man Jabari (Allen Maldonado) who is quite possibly the world’s worst boyfriend ever. The date doesn’t go near the way Jabari had planned so poor Tamala has to call her girls to pick her up off the street. Driving this car would be the older brother of Tamala’s friend, Julian (Jerome Hawkins), who we can assume Tamala has had a crush on for a quite a while. Julian for his part seems to be noticing Tamala for the very first time. Julian is going through his own issues with some pronounced Baby Mama Drama that completely ruins his evening. But if Julian is patient it’s looking like his evening is about to get much better.

‘Reprise’ is short little segment about a young couple experimenting with each others bungholes which leads us to ‘American Boyfriend’. Jesse (Alphonso Johnson) is dating Jasmine (Emily Lui). Everybody seems to know this except Jasmine’s traditional Chinese parents which often leads to Jesse having to hide like a thief in the night to avoid detection. The parents aren’t stupid and suspect that Jasmine has an American Boyfriend theorizing that he might drive a Mustang and possibly possesses blonde hair and blue eyes and as such they would really like to meet him. That would not be a sound theory. Well you can only leave a young Black man unsupervised in an upstairs bedroom with no food or water for only so long before something has to give. Guess who’s coming to dinner.

I don’t know how you’re going to feel after watching this movie but for me ‘A Good Day to be Black and Sexy’ was a total joy. I was a little concerned after the first segment with Mr. Dortch shooting a scene that featured Black people in the dark, and it did seem to go on just a little too long, but even that segment was sharp and funny. By the time ‘Her Man’ finished up which was possibly the sharpest, most clever, brutally realistic fifteen or so minutes of Male / Female interaction I’ve ever seen on film, I was convinced that we were on to something here. For a movie such as this one to work, considering it is largely dialog driven, the characters had better have something interesting to say and the actors had best know how to deliver. Across the board, all of these actors – the majority of whom I’ve never seen before - were on point. Without knowing how Dortch shot the movie I’m guessing some of the scenes were improvisational, a least to some degree because I don’t know how anybody could’ve ‘written’ some of the stuff that came out of these characters mouths because it was just too authentic.

Admittedly there were times that the film was a little raw and the director’s penchant for playing with focus did tend to get on a nerve after a while but the things that ‘A Good Day to be Black and Sexy’ does well far outweighs the few negatives that one might stumble upon. This is a movie that exists in a reality that I’m familiar with and one that I’m comfortable with in service to a subject that is grossly underrepresented, but that being said, at least in my opinion, maintains a broad appeal because of its humor, performances and overall quality. Plus it has a subject matter that I’m guessing anyone who’s ever been in a relationship with anybody can relate to. Highly recommended.

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