[Screen It]


(1997) (Bill Bellamy, Natalie Desselle) (R)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
Mild None Heavy None None
Moderate None None Moderate Extreme
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
Extreme Mild Minor Mild Mild

Comedy: A self-proclaimed lover boy "player" gets his comeuppance when his sister invites all of the women in his life, who don't know about each other, to a party he's attending.
Drayton Jackson (BILL BELLAMY), a.k.a, "Dray," is a player, a man who believes there are never enough women and certainly not enough time for all of them. Knowing exactly how to manipulate women to get them in bed, he's seen as a male god to his friends David (PIERRE), Kilo (JERMAINE (BIG HUGG) HOPKINS), and Spootie (A.J. JOHNSON). He has to be careful though, to keep his "main" girlfriend, Lisa (LARK VOORHIES), from discovering his roaming ways. His sister, Jenny (NATALIE DESSELLE) can't believe what he does, let alone that she's related to him. When she brings over Katrina (MARI MORROW), an attractive friend, to meet Dray, she gets an idea. While he's out with the guys "servicing" the women, she and Katrina will call all of the ladies in his life and have them all show up at a party that night. When Dray's confronted by this dilemma, he must do all that he can to maintain his cool while keeping all of his ladies happy.
If they're fans of Bellamy or are drawn to sex comedies, they will.
For strong sexual content and language.
Of the major characters, there are no good role models.


OUR TAKE: 3 out of 10
A sexual comedy that's heavy on the sex and light on the comedy, "How To Be A Player" will entertain those looking for that genre, but will not find any kind of cross over audience. Played out like an extended, but adult, sitcom, the film features Bellamy, best known for his stand up comedy and MTV appearances. While there's a glimmer of better things to come in his performance, he's not given much to work with beyond the stereotypical black male stud who "scores" with the women and imparts romantic/sexual advice to his less successful friends. The rest of the characters play out even more like caricatures than Bellamy, but are adequate for what's asked of them. Of course everything's a set up for the final sequence where we know that Dray will have to face the music while simultaneously dealing with all of the women in his life. Since we know this will be the payoff early on, the many scenes leading up to it get a little long and tedious. While it all sounds like a racier version of "Three's Company" where Jack (John Ritter) always had more than one woman in the apartment at the same time, this sequence comes off as disappointing. In traditional farces, whether they be sexual or just straight comedy, there's usually a great deal of physical humor as well as near misses between the "hunter" and the "hunted." Here, Bellamy too easily gets around the problems, and what fun could have existed is squandered away. Not that there aren't a few funny moments, and obviously they're geared for an adult audience and some may not find them funny at all (but probably shouldn't be seeing this movie if that's their reaction -- there's no question as to what kind of movie this is going to be). Our general complaint about this genre is that if someone's going to make a sexual comedy, they should at least try to add a little sophistication or make it somewhat clever. Of course the target audience for this type of movie is just looking for T&A, and sophisticated isn't a word normally associated with this type of production and is nowhere to be found in this feature. While this will please that audience, it's not a great or even really good film. We give "How To Be A Player" just a 3 out of 10.
Three topics are of major concern for parents. Obviously, the sexual material and nudity is extreme in this picture, with many encounters showing movement with nudity. The other topic is Dray's treatment of women as sexual playthings. Not only is he having casual sex, one with a married woman, he doesn't care about them and only wants to get them into bed. Profanity is also extreme, but beyond those categories, the rest of the film is comparatively mild. Still, since some older kids will want to see this film, we strongly suggest that you examine the content to determine whether it's appropriate for them.

  • Some wine is on a coffee table in Dray's apartment.
  • A man brings a six-pack of beer to a barbeque and later an older man drinks (what's presumably alcohol) from a brown paper bag.
  • People drink beer and cocktails at a party. Jenny has several shots of liquor.
  • None.
  • Dray's treatment and attitude toward women (they he can have as many as he wants), shows a great deal of disrespect. Likewise, David has an affair, and a married woman has an affair with Dray.
  • Dray is friendly to a non-attractive woman only to draw the more attractive women to him.
  • Several disparaging comments are made toward obese people. A woman won't give Kilo the time of day because he's overweight, Dray makes a joke about Jenny's weight, and a man at a barbeque ridicules two overweight boys.
  • None.
  • Knife: Seen by Dray in a daydream as it's used by a woman to flatten his tire.
  • Phrases: "Bitch" (about a woman and life in general), "Shut up," "Tramp," "Whore," "Pissed off," "Stupid ass," "You'll be lucky if you get laid," "Nigger" (said by a black person) and "Bastard."
  • Dray lies to Lisa and other women about their being other women in his life, and to him, it's all a game where his goal is to "score" with as many women in the least amount of time.
  • A man does some pelvic thrusting into the air.
  • Dray's friends spy on his sexual escapades.
  • Kilo farts in Spootie's face.
  • None.
  • None.
  • A song mentions "getting it on" and another has the line, "Get on up...like a sex machine."
  • A song has at least one "f' word in it.
  • At least 41 "f" words (10 used with "mother," 1 used sexually, as are the phrases, "laid" and "boning," 35 "s" words, 3 slang terms for female genitals (the "p" word that's also seen typed), 1 slang term for male genitals (the "d" word), 47 asses, 30 damns, 13 hells, 4 S.O.B.'s, and 3 uses of "G-damn" and 1 use of "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Dray has a dream where his girlfriend walks in on him and another woman having sex. During it, the woman's bare breasts are seen, he sprays whipping cream onto her thighs, and both male and female oral sex is implied (activity under the sheets, but nothing's seen other than their facial expressions) and a few sexual sounds are heard.
  • There's a montage where Dray listens to his answering machine and visualizes the women callers having sex with him. Bare breasts are seen, a woman's seen on top of Dray, and he's seen on top of other women, and fondles another woman's breast.
  • The apartment clerk looks through a porno magazine (we don't see it) and comments on the women inside with Dray and his buddies. They make comments about body parts and about a woman cutting her pubic hair with a weed whacker. The clerk talks about how he'd like to "get slobbering" and "dig his nails" into a woman's butt.
  • A bare-breasted woman walks down David's stairs just as his girlfriend shows up.
  • Katrina daydreams about having sex with Dray and we see the side of her bare breast.
  • A husband comes home while Dray is caressing his wife's body. She then comes on to the husband so that Dray can escape, but in doing so a condom (still wrapped) falls to the floor.
  • Dray fools around with a woman in a skimpy bra and thong lace underwear and her bare butt cheeks are fully seen. Her bare breasts are also seen as she sits on his lap facing away from him and wiggles around.
  • A woman is on top of Dray as they have sex. Lots of movement is seen and sexual sounds are heard, but there's no nudity.
  • An erect phallic sculpture is seen in a woman's house as is a gynecological table complete with stirrups. David then sees them, imagines how they're used, and does some pelvic thrusting (into the air) between them.
  • A man gives the international symbol for performing female oral sex on a woman as a woman walks by him.
  • Dray walks out of a bathroom and backs into a couple having sex on the floor where some movement is seen as are the woman's breasts and the side of her bare butt.
  • A man comes up to a woman at a party and asks her, "Have you ever thought of me boning you in your ass in the rain?" She then slaps him.
  • Katrina undoes Tray's pants and runs her hands down into his underwear. He caresses her bare breasts, and it's implied they have sex.
  • The husband of one of Dray's ladies smokes a cigarette in several scenes.
  • A woman smokes a cigar at a party as does David.
  • Dray and his uncle briefly talk about Dray's deceased father.
  • Treating women like sexual objects.
  • Casual sex (Dray does apparently use condoms, but is with several women in one day).
  • Dray visualizes a woman breaking his car antenna, knifing his tire, and egging his car.
  • A woman smacks David as does his girlfriend after the women learn of the other's involvement with him. Moments earlier, the girlfriend kicked in his front door.
  • An angry husband grabs Dray and punches him in the gut. A woman then comes up, punches the husband twice and then head butts him, knocking him out.
  • A woman slaps a man after he asks her a rude sexual question.

  • Reviewed August 6, 1997

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