Review: ‘Traci Townsend’

Why can't a smart, attractive, successful African-American woman find a mate she can keep? Is it her bad attitude? It is in the case of "Traci Townsend," who learns the truth about herself in this sharp indie effort by helmer Craig Ross Jr. and scenarist Bobby Thompson. Pic should access a large, underserved ethnic female target demo via cable and DVD sales.

Why can’t a smart, attractive, successful African-American woman find a mate she can keep? Is it her bad attitude? It is in the case of “Traci Townsend,” who learns the truth about herself in this sharp indie effort by indie/TV helmer Craig Ross Jr. and scenarist Bobby Thompson. Incisively funny if occasionally broad, pic should access a large, underserved ethnic female target demo via cable and DVD sales.

Advice columnist Traci (Jazsmin Lewis) is sexy, successful, ready for romance — yet she’s single again after serial dumpings. Puzzled by a personal track record of zero marital proposals, she lets level-headed best friend and aspiring filmmaker Syl (Mari Morrow) videotape interviews with ex-boyfriends who reluctantly reveal why Traci wasn’t the one for them. For technology geek Daryll (Victor Williams), she was too invasive and possessive. Prosthetic-legged, wealthy entrepreneur Pierre (Marlon Young) couldn’t abide her infidelities. Body-beautiful Dante (Aaron D. Spears) was as vain, insensitive and competitive as Traci herself. Sparky perfs, bright production values on a low budget and clever writing make Los Angeles-shot “Traci Townsend” a specialized “Bridget Jones”-style chick-flick alternative that talks trash but speaks from the heart.

Traci Townsend

Production

A J-Squared Entertainment production in association with Asiatic Associates. Produced by Cheryl Bedford, Bobby Thompson. Executive producers, Fred Lewis, Thompson. Directed by Craig Ross Jr. Screenplay, Bobby Thompson, from a story by Shelitta Castille-Thompson.

Crew

Camera (color), Carl Bartels; music, Geno Young; production designer, Genevieve Liebowitz. Reviewed at San Francisco Black Film Festival, June 10, 2006. Running time: 88 MIN.

With

Jazsmin Lewis, Richard T. Jones, Victor Williams, Mari Morrow, Aaron D. Spears, Marlon Young, Jay Acovone, Amy Hunter.
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