Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

We can’t spend too much time on Russ Parr’s ‘Something Like a Business’ because the truth of the matter is that it’s barely a movie. The story is bottom of the barrel basic and is populated by some really funny people with some of these funny people being living legends, at least to me, as the funny people float in and out of a bunch of loosely connected scenes setup almost like a sketch comedy television show. I'm guessing the only thing this movie is trying to do is make the audience laugh. And it does this every once in a while. Just not nearly enough.

Despite the lack of a tangible narrative we will do the best we can to describe it to you, the reading audience, what little there is. Kevin Hart… a funny guy… is Jojo. Jojo and his brother Avery (Donnel Rawlings) were raised by 3D the pimp as played by our local homeboy over here in David Allen Grier. Avery has a bunch of get rich schemes such as packaging and selling his own urine. That’s not one the funny things in the movie.

Keith David, one of the living legends I was mentioning earlier, makes a couple of cameos in this movie as a lawyer / hustler who sells his own sundry items such as dookey stained baby diapers or something. Remember what Armstead’s Number One Rule of comedy is? Dookey isn’t funny. But now I need to append that rule and mention that Dookey isn’t funny unless Keith David is somehow involved.

Tragically 3D the pimp dies leaving his stable of prostitutes in a state of flux. Jojo has been charged with taking over this stable of escorts, which of course he is sorely incapable of doing. To help him with this is his brother who sells his own urine, the one legged prostitute Mahogany (Tracy Cherelle Jones), the verbose pimp Payton (Chris Spencer) and Angela (Tasha Smith) the hard working escort / single mother.

Attempting to circumvent all of Jojo’s attempts to keep 3D’s pimp business afloat is rival pimp Sexy Silk, as played by the other living legend in this movie Clifton Powell. Jojo needs more escorts so he places a Craigslist add or something which brings in a string of potential whores from chicks with dicks, to defrocked beauty queens, to white chicks with bad teeth and everything in between while Sexy Silk tries to steal these potential whores out from under Jojo. Then it all ends in The Peoples Court. Or Judge Joe Brown’s Court. One of those.

‘Something Like a Business’ is not a good movie. Mainly because a movie actually has to be a movie to be a good movie. Or a bad movie for that matter and this isn’t a movie but instead is an extra long episode of ‘In Living Color’. Or more accurately let’s call it a brown version of Second City TV since I’m pretty sure the majority of these loosely connected skits was mostly improvisational. The good thing is that it’s clear pretty quick that this ‘story’ isn’t going anyplace in particular so it’s no problem to just push it to the side, sit back and watch the funny people in this movie, of which there many, try and make us laugh. The first half of the movie, I’d have to say that they did a pretty damn good job of making me laugh. It wasn’t a laugh a minute festival or anything like that but some of the humor, most of it low brow with some of it being plain disgusting did make me laugh. But the second half of this very short movie, but really long comedy sketch, looked like the cast got a little tired of being in this comedy sketch and the movie stopped being funny. It actually became a bit of a chore to make it to the end. Again, there’s no real story so unless you are genuinely concerned that Jojo makes it in the pimp game or that Angela the whore gets her kids back, it’s comedy or bust.

One thing that has to be true, after watching ‘Something Like a Business’, is that Russ Parr must be a really great guy. I’m talking a top of the line fantastic type person. I’m dead certain nobody in this movie got a lot of money to be in this movie but my man made a few phone calls, and people showed to be in his movie. And if you look at the cast list there were a lot of funny people in the movie and despite the fact there was no real script and these people had to wing most of the movie, this alone makes me happy that I saw it. A great guy. Has to be. And if it took a five days or whatever it was to shoot this movie, those had to be five fantastic comedy filled days. I wish I could’ve been there but nobody ever invites me nothing. Yeah, it would’ve been better for us, the viewing audience, if more of that comedy was going on off-screen had spilled over on-screen, but whaddayagonnado? ‘Something Like a Business’ wasn’t all that good and it violated Rule Number One with a Keith David addendum but it did have its moments.

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