Review: ‘One Week’

"One Life" is a dubious, contrived, cautionary tale about the hazards of not facing up to the facts about HIV. Underneath the somewhat fading topicality of sexually transmitted disease in the black community is just another example in a long line of African-American-made pics depicting men as screw-ups and their women as long-suffering.

The melodramatic wheels spin and soon fall off the lumbering “One Life,” a dubious, contrived, cautionary tale about the hazards of not facing up to the facts about HIV. Underneath the somewhat fading topicality of sexually transmitted disease in the black community is just another example in a long line of African-American-made pics depicting men as screw-ups and their women as long-suffering. Tyro helmer Carl Seaton can’t seem to coax genuine emotions out of his uneasy cast, but it’s his script (co-written by lead Kenny Young) that sabotages the best intentions. After a solid fest run last year, pic’s limited region-by-region theatrical release will be a mere precursor to vid shelf life.

Varon (Young) and Kiya (Saadiqa Muhammed) are to be married in a week, but Varon’s rosy scenario is so upended that it seems like Somebody Up There doesn’t like him. First, his pal Tyco (Eric Lane) is overstaying his welcome in their digs; his job situation is full of corporate minefields; and his name appears on a list of men who have possibly been infected with HIV. Varon’s bad fortune appears total, making a tacked-on happy ending especially false.

One Week

Production

A Film Life release of a Griot Filmworks production. Produced by Phil James, Amberr Washington. Executive producers, James, Jeff Friday. Co-producers, Kenny Young, Carl Seaton. Directed by Carl Seaton. Screenplay, Kenny Young, Seaton.

Crew

Camera (color), Jeffrey T. Brown; editor, Phil Lee; music, Michael Bearden; set designer, Danielle Tate. Reviewed on videotape, L.A., Oct. 16, 2001. (In Urbanworld, Toronto film festivals.) MPAA Rating: R. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Kenny Young, Saadiqa Muhammed, Eric Lane.
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading