Soul Man (1986, Steve Miner)
Starring: C. Thomas Howell, Rae Dawn Chong, James Earl Jones, Arye Gross, Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Box Notables: ‘Retail Price £69.99’ sticker. Yowza! It's also perhaps worth noting that the Mail on Sunday found it "Very Funny"...
Tagline: ‘A Comedy with Heart and Soul”
Trailers: Monte Carlo, Crime Story, Cyclone, Enemy Territory, Death Before Dishonour
Cherrypick: “This is the Cosby decade; America loves black people!”
As ethically sketchy and cavalier as any of the jokers or knaves this blog has yet ushered into your presence, this 1986 journey through the nine-dimensional labyrinth of positive discrimination is as elegant and worthwhile as tits on a bull.
Wasting no time in messing with our moral gyroscopes, director Steve Miner’s would-be underdog yarn encourages us to root for over-privileged whitebread slap-magnet Mark Watson (Howell) as he tramples over every minority that gets in his way in order to win a scholarship to that Promethean cradle of overarching human idealism, Harvard Law School.
|"Were am dat wateemelon, etc..."|
After visiting a chum who’s attending ‘Sun-Tan Lotion College’, Mark downs a handful of untested pills that pigment his milky skin the colour of milky coffee, slips on some Ray Bans and – with no indication as to how he teased his glistening slick of chestnut hair into a serviceable Afro – jive-talks his way into a scholarship reserved for the most promising black student in LA. Yes, Mark has – and there’s no way to chocolate-coat this – ‘browned up’.
|The whole film in one - immeasurably better - scene|
|No, Luke, I am your teacher|
|The whitest black white man in America|
Originally published in Little White Lies#24