Disappearing Acts (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Some amazing talent is finding rewarding work with guaranteed distribution creating material for the premium cable channels and PBS. 

Disappearing Acts is a very good Hollywood formula love story, and a little more. The couple, Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan, are mainstream black culture, but from slightly different levels of society. She is educated, teaches music in a public school, and has dreams of becoming a recording star. She is tired of dating yuppie black men, and wants someone who will love her for her. Snipes is a construction worker, separated with two kids, who can't cross the color barrier and get into the union, so works only sporadically. He never graduated from High School, but has dreams of becoming a contractor. Lathan appeals to Snipes immediately, and he succeeds in showing her that he is a very nice man, and totally into her. There are several bumps in the relationship before the happy ending. All this, and it is told from the woman's point of view in a way that most men will "get it."

The story is based on a book by Terry McMillan (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Waiting to Exhale). Terry also produced. Gina Prince (Love and Basketball) directed. DP Tami Reiker did a marvelous job, as did art director Derrick Kardos. Lathan shows her nipples in a dark love scene with Snipes, and has good cleavage and pokies. Frankly, she looks great even fully dressed. I enjoyed this film very much. Even though it is made for TV, and tells the story of a black relationship from the woman's point of view, I found it very accessible as a California honky. The messages are there, and provided a lot of insights, but they didn't get in the way of the love story. This is one you can watch with your significant other.

Scoopy's comments in white:

This story was assembled by the all-star team of classy dramas about African-Americans.

  • Director Gina Prince did the acclaimed "Love & Basketball", which I liked a lot.
  • Writer Terry MacMillan is responsible for "Waiting to Exhale" and "How Stella Got Her Groove Back"
  • Star Sanaa Lathan  has appeared in various meritorious projects, and is a top talent.
  • You all know Wesley Snipes, a good actor who seems to be using this project to mark a return to legitimate drama after his solid career as an star of action films.



Sanaan Lathan showed her breasts in a very dark sex scene

Wesley Snipes' buns were seen in a different scene with better lighting

 So how did it come out? Well, let me put it this way. There is nothing really wrong with the film. It's intelligent, the characters seem real, the dialogue is drawn from life, the performers are competent, the photography is clear  .....

DVD info from Amazon.

  • full-screen only

  • there are two very brief featurettes: Snipes and Lathan reading from the novel, and a "behind the scenes"

Yet when it was over, I said to myself. Why, exactly, did I watch that? It's a project with good intentions, and no malice in its heart, but it's really just a soap opera that we've seen a jillion times before. An educated woman, a teacher who aspires to be a singer/songwriter, falls in love with a guy from the other side of the tracks, a gentle carpenter without a high school education. Their life together has the usual high and low points. With a few minor changes, the film could be about Asian-Americans, or Europeans, or any other ethnic group. 

I did enjoy watching a movie where the characters were recognizable human beings. That's refreshing in this gimmicky world, so I feel that you won't kick mind watching it, but I don't recommend going out of your way to see it.

The Critics Vote

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 6.0 
  • With their dollars ... made for cable
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, I say C, Tuna says B-. We both liked it, but I felt like I had seen it all before, except not with a black cast.

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