Pootie Tang (2001)
“He was rejuvenated. You hear that? Rejuvenated. He was juvenated before, lost it… and got juvinated again. Rejuvenated!”
Check out the credentials of the cast and crew. Go ahead….I’ll wait.
What if I told you it was written and directed by one of the best comedians and tv show makers in the game? A cinematographer who worked with Godard? Has two of the most memorable cast members from “The Wire”? I could throw in names like Chris Rock, JB Smooth, Dave Attell, Wanda Sykes, Andy Richter and David Cross if that does it for ya? What if I say the movie has fabulous music, highlighted by some stupid/genius Master P songs, a brilliant love song and gibberish duet between Pootie and Missy Elliot and the best song with no words or music ever? Would it help if I admitted to seeing this movie dozens of times and still cracking up?
“Oh Mamma Dee, she a cole toni”
Unfortunately for African American comedies to get made in Hollywood they must be stupid fool movies like “Soul Plane”, recycled white American rom-coms or Tyler Perry gag fests full of easy messages and easier jokes. It’s insulting to the Afican American audience and to anyone in general who wishes to see more variety and adventure in comedies overall. Brilliant and exciting movies like “Undercover Brother” and “Death At A Funeral” are far too rare. Even the creation of more noble failures like “Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins” would be a refreshing shift.
“See, my damie, Pootie Tang don’t wa-da-tah to the shama cow… ‘cause thats a cama cama leepa-chaiii, dig?”
“Pootie Tang” may seem to be just another stupid and easy joke movie, but I promise you that it is not. At least not just easy, because stupid is definitely part of it. But not stupid in the brain dead kind of way, more in the kind of inspired stupidness that can over take artists when they are unleashed and having fun. The performers in “Pootie Tang” are certainly having fun. Lance Crouther, as Pootie, is amazing. He fully buys into the character and manages to not only play the entire movie speaking nothing but his own language, but to get the audience to completely understand what he means.
Many gifted and funny people circle orbit Pootie as he fights The Man and tries to keep kids from drinking malt liquor and eating junk food. Cause it’s bad like netatie! The whole cast seems to barely supress their glee (or disbelief) that this movie is even being made and how silly it all is. Silly, yes, but also sublime.