Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

After reading the synopsis for ‘I’m Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks)’, which admittedly has a title longer than some books I’ve recently read, I knew I had to see this movie. Now I’ve seen my fair share of incredibly lame, with emphasis on the word ‘incredibly’, African American themed comedies. This one however interested me because it centers on a Black dude who is heavily into sci-fi, likes indy rock and generally dates only white girls, which is a bit of a different slant and is actually a theme that is kind of close to my heart. This could be because one of my best friends on this planet earth for the last twenty five years is lot like that, with the added addition of doing generally ‘non-black’ stuff in that he also snow boards, rides BMX, drives Honda’s almost exclusively and like this films main character of Jay Brooks, also lives in Los Angeles. My hope is that he doesn’t read this because he will be PISSED, though our relationship through the years has been a very good one since knowing me has made my buddy just a little bit ‘more black’ because I AM Soul Brother Number One, and without him I would never have known the magic of the rock band Rush. To my knowledge my good friend has only dated one Black girl in his life, and that ended pretty badly. So with this comedy so very close to my heart from freshman director Jennifer Sharp, I had my hopes quite high, though I know they shouldn’t have been because I’ve been disappointed so many times before, but damn if Ms. Sharp not only met my lofty cinematic expectations for her first film, but often surpassed them.

When we first meet Jay Brooks (Anthony Montgomery), he is writing a ‘Dear John’ letter on a mini legal pad, as is his modus operandi, to his present girlfriend while she is in the shower and then he cuts out. As we can plainly see early on, Jay is a coward. His good buddy Matt (Ryan Alosio) who fotunately owns a car since Jay lives in L.A. and doesn’t drive, which I’m told is akin to deep water diving without an oxygen tank. Jay has come to the conclusion that his numerous problems with women extend from the fact that he only dates white women, though not particularly by choice but because he’s simply the kind of guy that he believes Black women don’t find attractive.

Also critical in comic book artists Jay’s life is his Number One from way back in Drake (Lamman Rucker) as well as Drake’s mother Jerri (Alaina Reed Hall), father Sam (Johnny Brown) and grandma Hester (Esther Scott) who serve as part of Jay’s extended family. Drake is preparing to marry the somewhat cosmopolitan and stuck up J.C. (Kellee Stewart) who has very little love for her fiancée’s salt of the earth family and absolutely NO love for Jay. Regardless, Jay informs his good friend Drake of ‘Operation Brown’ sugar with Jay completely giving up white girls, believing them to be the problem in his failed relationships and seeing if his luck will change if he gives sisters a shot.

He does give it an effort and still manages to fail miserably which leads him to pay a surprise visit J.C.’s place of business who works as a publicist and ask her if she could hook him up with a sorority sister or something even though she hates his ass. At her office Jay meets Catherine (Lia Johnson), a quirky author who is one of J.C’s clients that immediately captures our hero’s attention, though we might mention that ‘Operation Brown Sugar’ has turned into ‘Operation really, really, really light Brown Sugar’. He stalks her, more or less, they go on a date - kind of, and have sex. Oh you crazy kids and your newfangled approach to relationships. NOW they start their relationship since you young ‘uns apparently believe whole heartedly in trying on a pair of shoes before you buy them. Now our film kicks into Romantic Comedy mode as Jay and Catherine spend time with each other, fall in love - which scares the hell out of Jay - which causes boy to lose girl, which causes boy to seriously examine what in the hell is wrong with him realizing that White Girls were never the problem in the first place, which causes boy to do everything in his power to get the girl back.

There are a number of reasons that I really liked this movie with the number one reason being that director Jennifer Sharp guides a script from Courtney Lilly that doesn’t contain, as far as I can tell, one single caricature. All of the inhabitants in this movie come off to me as real live authentic characters as they have dramatized people who I actually know who are going through things and experiencing things that real people deal with on a daily basis. Even characters that have the ring of a caricature, such as Drake’s parents, actually act and behave exactly as they should in a given situation. Trust me on this one. And who in the hell knew that Johnny ‘Mr. Bookman’ Brown was still alive? I didn’t, God bless his heart. Even J.C’s uppity parents played by Richard Lawson and Ann Weldon felt authentic, plus I sure hope I look half as good, should I be lucky enough reach Mr. Lawson’s age, who looks great at an amazingly ancient 61.

All the realistic characters in the world matter very little if the movie isn’t entertaining and I’m happy to say that I found ‘I’m Through with White Girls’ immensely so. The film is very funny, very witty in an offbeat type of way and very sweet in telling it’s tale about the cowardly confused Jay and the offbeat African Canadian Catherine. Even that’s on point since I’m like twenty minutes from Windsor Ontario and believe me when I tell you that Black Canadians are some seriously different cats, at least when generally compared to my own African Americans. Remember people, one should never generalize though I do it all the time. Anthony Montgomery handled the lead role without nary a hitch with solid support from Ryan Alosio and Lamman Rucker, and Lia Johnson is as talented as she is lovely in her sweetly comic turn as Catherine the Love Interest.

If there’s anything to criticize about the film I guess I could pick on the fact that it is a RomCom and I generally hate RomCom’s that don’t star Tom Hanks, and this movie doesn’t deviate much from the tried and true RomCom formula. But that’s simply a bias on my part as now there are three Romantic Comedies I think I actually like, and this has me looking forward to what director Jennifer Sharp might be cooking up next.

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