Rather like a cross between Up in Smoke and an episode of The Jeffersons, Friday is a crudely made, sometimes funny bit of porchfront humor from the ‘hood.
The South Central LA community on view here center on lazybones Craig (Ice Cube) who spends the day hanging out with his fast-talking, bud-smoking buddy Smokey (Chris Tucker). Craig’s working-stiff dad (John Witherspoon) takes a dump while admonishing his slacker son to hit the pavement, and Craig’s girlfriend, Joi (Paula Jai Parker), is a braying banshee viciously suspicious of any other woman who might come within Craig’s range, especially the foxy Debbie (Nia Long).
What laughs there are mostly come from the reefer-puffing comedian Tucker, a lanky, rubber-faced, hyperactive near-hysteric whose character always has an outrageous rationalization for his irresponsible behavior and, in his comic devotion to leafy highs, reps a throwback to the druggy humor of the ’70s.
Ice Cube functions – for the most part, literally – as Tucker’s straight man, and his slow-on-the-uptake line readings and physical inertness drag things down.