After watching this movie, Judge Kristin Munson is also through with white grills. She's a little bit dyslexic.
It's not you. It's him.
I'd rather gnaw on aluminum foil than willingly watch a RomCom, but I'm Through With White Girls is a surprisingly fun, well-written look at love between hipsters. It's also a refreshing take on Black culture, when most African-American comedies have become Tyler Perry presents Tyler Perry starring in a Tyler Perry Production of a tribute to Tyler Perry's massive ego, co-starring Tyler Perry as a fat old lady who looks pretty much like Tyler Perry.
Facts of the Case
Jay (Anthony Montgomery, Enterprise) is a comic book artist who digs indie bands, cigarettes, and white girls. White girls dig Jay too, but whenever things start getting serious, Jay panics and goes running back to his action figures and Playstation games. Obviously, the problem is with those crazy white women, so Jay decides to give them up and turn to his own race for a mate.
Enter dreadlocked cutie Catherine (Lia Johnson, The Fugitive(2000)), a Half-Rican Canadian who shares Jay's love of mix tapes and cigarettes. If Jay can't make it work with her, he just might have to admit that he's the one with the problem.
Despite the indie trappings, I'm Through With White Girls is still a romantic comedy. You know how everything is going to play out well in advance. What pushes the movie above the sticky, predictable date movie morass is the way screenwriter Courtney Lilly (My Boys) takes well-worn RomCom and Black movie clichés and plays with them to create something new within the framework.
When Jay finds himself in a wacky sitcom situation, he doesn't spin ridiculous lies that make things even worse, he explains himself, and his best buddy only becomes the "white guy who thinks he's black" to bluff his way into a record store job. They're little things but they give the move a solid grounding in reality that makes you forget this is a RomCom.
Instead of being the Irredeemable Cad, undone by the forces of True Love in 90 minutes or less, Jay is a guy we can all recognize. Catherine's more than just pretty and racially acceptable, she's got her own major hang-up: she's terrified her writing career will be ruined when readers hear her Valley Girl accent. He's childish without being deplorable and she's quirky but not obnoxious. In other words, it doesn't take a chamber orchestra feverishly sawing away at their string instruments at every emotional moment to convince you the pairing can work.
While I'm Through With White Girls plays around with the issues of race, it does so with a light touch and uses it for laughs, not lessons. During an early date with an Asian woman, Jay tunes out her rant about racial stereotypes by fantasizing about her as a geisha and an Anime character, only for the camera to switch to her point of view so we can see she's been picturing Jay as Lenny Kravitz the whole time.
There's a slew of extras on the White Girls DVD, touching on the entire production process, from audition tapes to press junkets, plus commentary with scriptwriter Lilly, actress/producer Lia Johnson and DP Jacob Pinger on the feature and the deleted scenes. While the three don't talk too much about the action onscreen, there's a lot of info about making an indie feature and the crew's many adventures in location wrangling.
The Rebuttal Witnesses
The only problems I have with I'm Through With White Girls has nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with Image Entertainment.
The company ditches the comic book style used in the credits and theatrical poster for a bland, badly Photoshopped case that makes the film look like a crappy straight-to-DVD sex comedy. Four of the six actors plastered across the case and on the DVD itself aren't even in the movie. I can almost forgive this as the tired, lazy marketing ploy that it is, but if you own a standard television set this disc actually punishes you for watching in the proper aspect ration.
Sure, the stereo track and the actual picture are clear and rich, but for the entire film a dotted line perches atop the letterboxing. Not content to ruin the picture with its very presence, it flickers and jumps like a horizontal equalizer, daring you to ignore it. The only way to get rid of it is to find a widescreen set or watch the stretched out Pan and Scan version.
I'm Through With White Girls is a good movie hamstrung by an inept transfer and a terrible cover. I can honestly say that if I saw this DVD on the shelf, I would be too embarrassed to buy or rent it, and that comes from someone who's bought stuff with Kevin Sorbo's face plastered on it.
Everyone involved with the movie is Not Guilty. Image Entertainment is ordered to attend "DVD Production 101."
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
• Feature Commentary with Courtney Lilly, Lia Johnson and Jacob Pinger
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