28 Days of Black Cinema: Day 11
Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
Starring: Robert Townsend, Craigus R. Johnson, Helen Martin, Anne-Marie Johnson
Directed by Robert Townsend
Written by Robert Townsend, Keenen Ivory-Wayans
"There ain't nothing to it but to do it." - Uncle Ray
Bobby Taylor is an aspiring actor, who is frustrated with the way Hollywood sees him. Because of the color of his skin, he is only offered roles of pimps, gangsters, slaves...basically all stereotypes of the black man. He has dreams of playing the suave leading man or the courageous hero, but it seems he won't be able to get there...as long as he contines to play the game by Hollywood's rules.
The film is satirical, but true. It touches on blacks not supporting each other, Hollywood's reluctance to walk away from black stereotypes, and setting a good example for our younger generations. The message is, if we want to more diverse and positive movie roles for our people, we need to make them. Even though this movie was made in 1987, it still holds true today, in 2015.
There are hilarious vingettes, that drive these points home. Not all of us know how to "talk jive".