Black Spring Break: the Movie (1998) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

I don't think any movie ever made me cry except Schindler's List.

But now there are two.


Rennay London-Simes appeared topless in a lengthy striptease
The passion, the drama, the rhythm of the actual black spring break in Daytona Beach - all come to life before your very eyes.

But that's merely the backdrop for the complex and layered adventure that lies in wait for you in Black Spring Break: the Movie. 

Or, as the promo says, "get ready for booty and the beach"

Actually, I learned a useful new euphemism from this movie. The box calls this an "urban comedy." I am now aware that "urban comedy" means "comedy featuring people with skin much, much darker than Rose McGowan." That has to be the meaning, because there was nothing urban about this. The locale was Daytona Beach, which is about as urban as the Okefenokee Swamp, and the kids were college students from a mixture of demographic and geographic backgrounds. Since "urban" in this context cannot mean "taking place in a city" or "featuring city dwellers," it must therefore mean "featuring black people." I guess that makes some sense. The marketers can't call this a "black comedy" because that term means something else altogether.

As it turns out, I find this new term very handy. I am very uncomfortable using the normal nomenclature for People of Dark African Descent. I mean I normally type "black guys", and then delete it because I don't know if that term is still PC. Besides, people are rarely dark enough to evoke the word "black." The darkest skin tones are mostly brown. Then I change it to "African-Americans," and I cross that out because that term includes many people who are very white (South Africans of British or Dutch ancestry), or other non-blacks like Egyptians and Libyans. Then I type in "people of color," and it just sounds silly. Plus guys my age know that "colored people" used to be a demeaning term, and we can't really bring it or anything similar back into our vocabulary. I just never know what to say.

So now I know. The correct term is "urbanites."

As you can imagine, the flick is awful, but the urban sound track is lively, so I guess it could be worse. It could be Polish Spring Break, with a soundtrack consisting entirely of Bobby Vinton records and accordion solos. That would be worse. It could be Rosie's Spring Break, where the camera just follows a bikinied Rosie O'Donnell around the beach, and she sings her own soundtrack from Broadway shows. Or it might be Tommy Chong Spring Break, in which he acts out his favorite passages from Joyce's Ulysses while stoned out of his tree. See, a lot of things would be worse. 

DVD info from Amazon

  • no widescreen, no features

However, I do need to point out in all fairness that those things only exist in theory, so perhaps this film is the worst if you eliminate imaginary stuff. 

I must caution you. If you are planning to show this at home to some friends, seat no one on your couch during the thrilling final 15 minutes.

The Critics Vote

  • no major reviews online

The People Vote ...

IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is an F. If you like the humor of the best black-oriented films, if you like hip-hop, if you like Spring Break movies - none of that will help. You still won't like this. It's just plain bad.

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