×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Booty Call

A paean to safe sex, "Booty Call" is an oddly effective comic mix of the politically correct and outre stereotyping. A mixed bag of street humor, broad, bawdy jokes and hip-hop music, the film is very much on target to score a bull's-eye with African-American auds. That should produce ample enough commercial returns as well as ring the bell for social responsibility.

With:
Bunz - Jamie Foxx
Rushon - Tommy Davidson
Lysterine - Vivica A. Fox
Nikki - Tamala Jones
Akmed - Art Malik
Singh - Scott LaRose
Chan - Gedde Watanabe
Yoyo - Ammie Sin
Judge Peabody - Bernie Mac
Dr. Zevroloski - Robert Bidaman
Dr. Blade - David Hemblen
Arguing Woman - Amy Monique Waddell

A paean to safe sex, “Booty Call” is an oddly effective comic mix of the politically correct and outre stereotyping. A mixed bag of street humor, broad, bawdy jokes and hip-hop music, the film is very much on target to score a bull’s-eye with African-American auds. That should produce ample enough commercial returns as well as ring the bell for social responsibility.

The premise is very, very simple. Buppy Rushon (Tommy Davidson) is ready to get down with Nikki (Tamala Jones) after a chaste, two-month courtship. She has mixed feelings about this development and decides on the fateful night to drag her girlfriend Lysterine (Vivica Fox) along as a buffer. Rushon’s posturing pal Bunz (Jamie Foxx) makes it a foursome as they check out a local Chinese eatery.

Takashi Bufford and Bootsie’s screenplay is basically a sketch comedy elongated to feature length. So, the structure is really a series of blackouts with the hijinx unfolding variously at the restaurant, in the apartment and at a convenience store when the men are sent out to get condoms.

Though straining at the bounds of good taste (and occasionally spilling over), the story remains vigilant in its primary focus. The women are eager to have fun, but passion will not supersede protection.

Director Jeff Pollack indulges a cast that includes a feisty Jack Russell terrier, a fawning restaurateur and a pair of Punjabi open-all-nighters. The supporting cast members draw their roles with far more outlandish sweep than the picture’s primary quartet. It’s difficult to tastefully describe the dog’s under-the-table antics or the manner in which Chan (Gedde Watanabe) cozies up to Bunz. Suffice it to say that the situations and execution often are hysterically funny and their reliance on low humor leaves one feeling guilty for enjoying some extremely mean jokes. The film is definitely an equal-opportunity racial-ethnic stereotyper.

What ultimately provides the glue is the pic’s charismatic leads. Davidson, routinely cast in manic parts, proves himself a first-rate straight man to Foxx and a winning light leading man. The calm he projects is all the more sweet as he rapidly unravels at the climax. The women also form an interesting yin and yang, with Fox particularly fine as a bottom-liner who can’t quite come to grips with her trigger-finger libido.

Tech credits are solid, certainly several notches better than most ethnic low-budgeters. The filmmakers also wisely keep it short and sweet. However, economy shows its seams in “Booty Call’s” attempt to sub Toronto for New York, with results decidedly non-Manhattan.

Despite the tale’s profane nature and sexual theme, there’s an underlying sweetness to the material. It’s an unusual twist that gives the film that extra little edge to keep its head aloft in the marketplace.

Popular on Variety

Booty Call

Production: A Sony Pictures Entertainment release of a Columbia Pictures presentation of a Turman/Morrissey production. Produced by John Morrissey. Co-producer, John M. Eckert. Directed by Jeff Pollack. Screenplay, Takashi Bufford, Bootsie.

Crew: Camera (Deluxe color), Ron Orieux; editor, Christopher Greenbury; music, Robert Folk; production design, Sandra Kybartas; art direction, Armando Sgrignuoli; sound (Dolby/SDDS), Douglas Ganton; Cantonese coach, Mo Chow; assistant director, Jeff Authors; casting, Mary Vernieu, Ronnie Yeskel. Reviewed at the Village Theater, L.A., Feb. 18, 1997. MPAA Rating. R. Running time: 79 MIN.

With: Bunz - Jamie Foxx
Rushon - Tommy Davidson
Lysterine - Vivica A. Fox
Nikki - Tamala Jones
Akmed - Art Malik
Singh - Scott LaRose
Chan - Gedde Watanabe
Yoyo - Ammie Sin
Judge Peabody - Bernie Mac
Dr. Zevroloski - Robert Bidaman
Dr. Blade - David Hemblen
Arguing Woman - Amy Monique Waddell

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Virginia Leith, Female Lead in Stanley Kubrick's First Film, Dies at 94

    Actress and model Virginia Leith, who starred in Stanley Kubrick’s first film “Fear and Desire,” which he later disavowed, has died. She was 94. According to family spokesperson Jane Chalmers, Leith died after a brief illness at her home in Palm Springs, Calif. on Nov. 4. Born on Oct. 15, 1925, Leith met Kubrick in [...]

  • Sarah Bolger's 'A Good Woman Is

    Film News Roundup: Sarah Bolger's 'A Good Woman Is Hard to Find' Bought by Film Movement

    In today’s film news roundup, “A Good Woman Is Hard to Find” and “After Parkland” find homes, Jack Johnson is honored, AGC closes deals on Neill Blomkamp’s latest and Paramount is in talks for a “Power to the People” project. ACQUISITIONS Film Movement has bought North American rights to the thriller “A Good Woman Is [...]

  • Sir Lionel Frost (left) voiced by

    Chris Butler Looks At The Magic Behind Animating 'Missing Link'

    Laika’s latest feature “Missing Link” raises the bar once again for the world of stop-motion, pushing boundaries in scope and visuals. The story of an unlikely friendship between Mr. Frost and his 8-foot yeti buddy Link is one of hope. “Missing Link” producer Arianne Sutner says the message of the film was to “leave people [...]

  • Jonah Hauer-King Prince Eric

    'Little Mermaid' Live-Action Movie Finds Its Prince Eric

    Jonah Hauer-King will soon be a part of the “Little Mermaid” world. The newcomer has been tapped to play Prince Eric in Disney’s live-action remake of the animated classic. At one point, Harry Styles was is in early talks for the role, but ended up passing. Hauer-King has had two screen tests, with the most [...]

  • Peter Caranicas

    Variety's Peter Caranicas to Receive 1st HPA Legacy Award

    Peter Caranicas Variety managing editor, features, will be honored with the first HPA Legacy Award. Caranicas joined Variety as features managing editor in 2008, and currently serves as both deputy editor and managing editor, features. He has developed the editorial franchises Dealmakers Impact Report, Hollywood’s New Leaders, Legal Impact Report and Business Managers Elite. Caranicas also [...]

  • Jack Ryan

    Richard Rutkowski on ‘Jack Ryan,’ Costa-Gavras and Being Nice Abroad

    TORUN, Poland – Speaking at the EnergaCamerimage Intl. Film Festival on Monday, Richard Rutkowski praised the work of Costa-Gavras, offered sage advice for filmmakers working internationally, and offered a glimpse of the fast-paced work faced by cinematographers on high-profile TV series. Rutkowski, whose credits include “Jack Ryan,” “Castle Rock” and “The Americans,” discussed the methods, [...]

  • 'Honeyland' DP on Low-Fi Shooting With

    'Honeyland' DP on Low-Fi Shooting With High-Powered Storytelling

    Filming the Sundance-awarded “Honeyland” in a remote North Macedonia locale without roads or electricity, it was easy to get lost, confesses cinematographer Fejmi Daut. “It was too hard to decide what would be the storyline in the beginning,” said the debut DP, speaking at the 27th EnergaCamerimage cinematography festival in Torun, Poland. The editing process [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content