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Case Number 15745: Small Claims Court

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Thug Love

Lightyear Entertainment // 2008 // 85 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 19th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson is a strong believer in thug love, as a discipline tactic for children.

The Charge

She had the perfect life…she wanted more.

The Case

Despite what the tagline claims, Destiny (Millena Gay, Sunday School Musical) has a crappy life. She's struggling at work, unappreciated by her pushy boss, and her jackass of a husband is divorcing her while rubbing it in with derogatory comments. With her self-esteem hovering at perilous lows and career in flux, Destiny is willing to try just about anything to ignite a little spark in her dreary existence. Enter Troy, said "Thug." He's an artist and writer, half the age of Destiny, and oozing the kind of edgy magnetism I assume lonely forty-somethings with self-image problems would find irresistible.

No sooner can you say "robbing the crib" (rimshot), Destiny begins a steamy relationship with Troy, and almost immediately her life gets better. Her romantic encounters—fully clothed, but apparently no less sensuous—are spicy and copious and her friends—the usual soundingboard for her many troubles—sense a change. But Detiny's new life hits a speed bump, when her relationship begins distracting her from work, much to the chagrin of her boss, and Troy is revealed to be less than the perfect man. So the question is: can Girl Power triumph?

Why yes, I believe it can!

There's not much new to be found here (save for the ending). All the old stuff and clichés aren't that well executed, but I have a suspicion if you relate to some of the emotional turmoil poor Destiny goes through, there's value in Thug Love. Me, I didn't really like it, save for the cool title (just say "Thug Love" over and over—it's cathartic!) The acting and writing were tepid and there was a significant lack of even a passing resemblance of comic relief. The pacing is tedious, spiced up only when Destiny engages in a fiery back-and-forth with her estranged husband and thug boy toy.

Millena Gay is okay as the lead, though her extended dialogue sequences with a teddy bear are excruciating. Once in a while, the script will have Destiny utter confounding lines, like that bit about her being mad at an ex-husband for breaking down "in front of a white man" (his lawyer). Huh? Again, though, I'll default back to my original contention: if you find this woman and her plight relatable, you can find value in her character.

One objective accolade I can send the film's way: it didn't end like I thought it would. More than a few beats are familiar, very How Stella Got Her Groove Back-ish but the culmination of Destiny's misadventures was a bit of a surprise. Without giving the end away, I'll just say it was a strong feminist statement.

The DVD is about as no-frills as it gets: fake widescreen, 2.0 stereo, and no extras.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 65

Perp Profile

Studio: Lightyear Entertainment
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 85 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Genres:
• Drama
• Romance

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• None








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