Not Just Yet

Michelle-Anne M. Small's first feature, "Not Just Yet," provides a low-key look at middle-class African-American youths on the cusp of adulthood. There's no booty-calling or "Boyz N the Hood" posturing here, making pic refreshing for what it's not. Modest almost to point of inconsequentiality, it sports the entertainment value of eavesdropping on gossiping strangers.

With:
With: Abbey Laassanu, Arleta Smith, Imria Lewis, Dorian Dauchen, Phil Adlins, Matthew Barlett, Fred Boateng, Idara Victor, Kimberly Abbage.

Michelle-Anne M. Small’s first feature, “Not Just Yet,” provides a low-key look at middle-class African-American youths on the cusp of adulthood. There’s no booty-calling or “Boyz N the Hood” posturing here, making pic refreshing for what it’s not. Modest almost to point of inconsequentiality, it sports the entertainment value of eavesdropping on gossiping strangers. Small budget and somewhat pedestrian execution point this decent calling-card toward minor tube and tape prospects.

Five girls, longtime suburban pals of just-post-college age, gather at one temporarily parent-free house for a weekend sleepover. Only Nicole (Abbey Laassanu) is dismayed by news that “the guys” are expected later. Not only is she sole unpartnered girl, but she’s also just learned she’s pregnant from a secret one-night stand with a fella who’s now seeing another member of the clique. Other conflicts include views on interracial dating and one male pal’s loutish wannabe “gangsta” behavior. Action leaves house interior all too briefly. Perfs, dialogue, character logic and tech presentation all waver between OK and barely-acceptable, though writer/helmer deserves credit for project’s naturalistic air and pragmatic scale.

Not Just Yet

Production: A Small Production Co. presentation. Produced by Michelle-Anne M. Small. Executive producers, Angela L. Barrow, Mathilde Williams. Directed, written by Michelle-Anne M. Small.

Crew: Camera (color, DV), Chung Pei; editor, Ricardo Sean Thompson; music, Justin D. Edwards. Reviewed at San Francisco Black Film Festival, June 12, 2004. Running time: 94 MIN.

With: With: Abbey Laassanu, Arleta Smith, Imria Lewis, Dorian Dauchen, Phil Adlins, Matthew Barlett, Fred Boateng, Idara Victor, Kimberly Abbage.

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