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The cyclical nature of things being what they are, it seems as if the 1980s are back, and in that my meaning extends beyond fashion and post-punk indie rock bands. I'm talking movies as well; specifically, Who's Your Caddy?, starring Big Boi, the half of Outkast who's not Andre 3000. With the movie making its way to the DVD market, I popped in the little silver promo reluctantly, expecting to sleep or possibly groan my way through 90 minutes of sophomoric, race-related humor. Instead, I laughed my way through 90 minutes of sophomoric, race-related humor. Don Michael Paul - director of Half Past Dead, a couple episodes of that "Pacific Blue" California bicycle cop television show, and bit actor on a slew of similar caliber shows - has avoided falling into the B.E.T.-style pitfalls of "black" cinema and instead crafted a film that resembles a black Caddyshack. But he's done it with a quick wit and a loose touch that butts fart jokes and balls hitting crotches (always funny) up against honest and sensitive moments dealing with racial tension… although, admittedly, the serious parts don't work as well as the slapstick. In spite of that, and the film's advertising campaign, Who's Your Caddy isn't a "black" comedy; it's a comedy starring talented black actors/rappers that deals with issues people of all races can relate to. And it's pretty damn funny.
The plot revolves around Big Boi's character of C-Note, a rap impresario cut from the same cloth as a P. Diddy or a Jay Z. He and his entourage, including the descriptively named Big Large (Faizon Love), descend upon the Carolina Pines Golf Club, run by the uptight, afrophobic Cummings (Jeffrey Jones, of Ferris Bueller fame). Big Boi is surprisingly good in his light role; there is admittedly not much required of him, but he isn't embarrassing to watch, which can't be said for other rapper-turned-actors like Nas or Cam'ron. When he's denied membership to the exclusive and apparently all-white club (except for the caddies, of course), he and his crew purchase a house adjacent to the club property as a means to scheming ends. He also falls in love with Cummings' beautiful lawyer (Tamala Jones), engages in an everything-to-lose golf tournament versus the evil Cummings, and hilarity generally ensues.
If all of these sound kind of like plot points from films like Tommy Boy and Happy Gilmore, that's because they are. And if it sounds like there might be a lot of "black people are like… and white people are like…" humor, that's pretty much on point as well. But it all somehow works, messy and silly and low-brow as it is. The issue of racism is treated with an appropriate blend of humor and reverence; each time Cummings and his cohorts hem and haw about C-Note's membership to the club, Big Love throws in a "Did he just say 'nigga'?" even though no one said anything of the sort… at least, not overtly. It's the little things like this that work best, although as mentioned before, the big physical comedy moments are the gut-busters. The film does get bogged down in an ill-conceived sub-plot involving midget hitmen, a cheap and easy way of going for laughs, but at a sleek 90 minutes, Who's Your Caddy accomplishes just what it sets out to. SEE ALSO: www.whosyourcaddythemovie.com
Jonah Flicker writes, lives, drinks, eats, and consumes music in New York, via Los Angeles. He once received a fortune in a fortune cookie that stated the following: "Soon, a visitor shall delight you." He's still waiting.
See other articles by Jonah Flicker.
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