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(1999) (Eddie Griffin, Master P) (R)

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Comedy/Drama: An irreverent standup comedian avoids selling out to the prospects of success while also dealing with his low-level gangster brother who wants to put on his own comedy revue.
Miles "Foolish" Waise (EDDIE GRIFFIN) is a hot standup comedian who's the biggest draw at a small club run by Giovanni (FRANK SIVERO), a testy man who doesn't like the comic taking more than his allotted stage time.

Foolish is also understandably a favorite with his manager, Jimmy Beck (BILL NUNN), who continually tries to push Foolish to the next level of success, getting him better gigs and a role in a big movie. To his chagrin, the wildly irreverent young comedian is determined not to sell out and seems more interested in making people laugh than making more money.

When he's not on stage, Foolish must contend with his live-in girlfriend, Charisse (DAPHNEE LYNN DUPLAIX) with whom he constantly fights over his staying out all night. He must also deal with his brother, Quentin "Fifty Dollah" Waise (MASTER P), a gambling debt collector who's also seeing Foolish's old girlfriend, Desiree (AMY PETERSEN).

After a gun-toting prank by Quentin and Foolish goes wrong and a man dies, Quentin gets into deep trouble and suddenly finds himself working for that man's boss, El Dorado Ron (ANDREW DICE CLAY) a dangerous gangster who wants Quentin to manage his drug business.

What Quentin really wants, though, is to get out of the gang business and open his own comedy revue featuring his brother. Since they don't always get along, however, the odds of that seem slim as the progressively disillusioned Foolish doesn't know what the future holds in store for him.

If they're fans of rap entrepreneur Master P or of hot young comedian Eddie Griffin, they just might, but it's otherwise doubtful many kids will want to see this film.
For strong language, including sex-related dialogue, sexuality and some drug content.
  • EDDIE GRIFFIN plays a popular, but wildly irreverent comedian who cusses throughout the movie, has a drinking problem, and reportedly got Desiree pregnant when she was sixteen (and then enlisted in the army to avoid any related responsibilities).
  • MASTER P plays a low-level gangster whose duties as a debt collector for some thugs has allowed him to live a rich lifestyle. He also cusses and reportedly stole Foolish's girlfriend (Desiree), and paid for her to have an abortion (none of which we see) while his brother went off to the army.


    OUR TAKE: 1.5 out of 10
    The life of a standup comedian is something of a peculiarity. These people, ranging from the famous, the somewhat famous and those no one has ever heard of, can be found in cities and towns, both big and small, performing nearly every night admirably trying to make people laugh.

    Of course no one will ever know exactly what makes them tick, and every standup comedian obviously has their own reasons for grabbing that microphone, standing in the spotlight, and being equally prepared for success as well as failure, hecklers, and generally making a fool of oneself. Some hope to make money, others want to make it to "the big time," while the rest just like entertaining audiences.

    Various movies have tried tackling the issue of what motivates such people in releases such as 1988's "Punchline" with Tom Hanks and Sally Fields and 1992's "Mr. Saturday Night" with Billy Crystal. Now we have "Foolish," a reported loosely based autobiographical look at the life of real-life comedian Eddie Griffin.

    More a filmed standup comedy routine than anything remotely resembling a noteworthy or even interesting movie, this film has its moments when Griffin is on stage doing his routine, but otherwise is a complete waste of time. With an unconvincing, lame and poorly executed drama wrapped around the standup bits -- and used to fill out the rest of the less than ninety minute runtime -- it's of no surprise that Artisan Entertainment declined to screen this movie for critics before it opened.

    Like the above films and even pictures like "Purple Rain" (that tried inserting drama in and around some fabulously staged musical numbers by that guy who used to be Prince), this one attempts to build a drama around the comedy, but it just doesn't work. Much of that fault lies with rap entrepreneur turned filmmaker Master P, a.k.a. Percy Miller, who financed this film and evidently wrote himself into it (the press kit lists Griffin as the writer while the film's on-screen credits list Master P as its writer).

    While he's obviously a smart and successful businessman, Master P ("I Got the Hook Up") can't act to save his life, a point reiterated aloud by several attendees at our screening -- especially in scenes where he tries to get emotionally dramatic and spouts lines like "I changed my whole life for you." While he did put up the money to have the film made, Master P should have stayed behind the camera.

    Unfortunately, he didn't, and the film thus has an unconvincing and unnecessary subplot of him being a gambling debt collector (although we never see any of that) who gets in trouble with a high level gangster played by Andrew Dice Clay (the "bad-boy" comic who appeared in "The Adventures of Ford Fairlane" at the height of his popularity) who does his normal, tough guy routine.

    As abruptly as that "dilemma" is solved (with an ultra convenient bit of blackmail), the film then has Master P's character wanting to put on his own comedy revue -- an element that suddenly pops up out of nowhere from a line of dialogue as if we're already supposed to be aware of that new plot direction. It only, but fortunately, serves to lead us back to Griffin on the stage.

    There, Griffin (TV's "Malcolm & Eddie"), in the tradition of comedians who paved the path for him such as Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy, is often quite funny. His material, however, and like that of those other comedians, is often quite raunchy and profanity laden, but should entertain the film's target audience.

    From joking about various sexual matters to doing impressions ranging from Prince to Brando, Griffin obviously has the gift and knack to become a big success, but this film certainly won't do much for his fledgling cinematic career.

    In the end, the film should just have been Griffin's standup material organized in a storytelling fashion with the entire dramatic part being completely jettisoned. Although his brand of humor obviously isn't for everyone, it's often quite funny, but the times when he's not doing his thing, the film grinds to a complete halt. Less a movie than bits and pieces of an irreverently funny comedy routine, the film gets a 1.5 out of 10 simply because it made me laugh several times.

    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this R-rated comedy. Profanity is extreme with at least 200 "f" words, 80+ "s" words and a wide variety of other words and phrases. A great deal of sexually related jokes occur throughout the movie, and we see several instances of female nudity (including brief full frontal as well as other instances of bare breasts).

    The protagonist is reportedly an alcoholic and we see him drinking and/or drunk in various scenes, and he also smokes quite a bit. Drug-related humor also occurs during the comedian's standup acts. Some violence occurs that includes some gun usage and a man briefly being beaten with a bat (and another using a bat on a car's windshield).

    From all of the profanity to the various topics and people that the comedian uses for comic fodder, some viewers may be offended by the material he uses for jokes. Due to that and the above, we strongly suggest that you take a closer look at the listed content should you or someone in your home wish to see this film.

  • Foolish is reportedly something of an alcoholic and often holds a glass of wine while doing his routine.
  • Stating that Heaven is too refined, Foolish says that he'd rather go to Hell where, among other things, he could smoke a joint.
  • A guy playing poker has a drink.
  • People have drinks in Giovanni's club in several scenes.
  • People have drinks near a boxing ring.
  • El Dorado Ron tells Quentin that since he was responsible for one of his men's death, that Quentin's now responsible for their drug operation.
  • Foolish talks about "weed" and that the crew of the Mayflower must have been on it (since he states that pot grows in that month) and that's why they ran into Plymouth Rock (stating that "they were high out of their damn minds"). He then talks about the Indians putting "fire weed" into their peace pipes and that's why they would go around chanting "Hi-hi-hi-hi-hi..." and that they got the "munchies" and then called it Thanksgiving. He then adds that the founding fathers and others were probably high on cocaine and says that's why Alexander Graham Bell had the middle name of "gram" (while physically acting like he's hyper from snorting up).
  • Quentin pours himself a drink and then has another drink at a club.
  • Some people who meet Foolish have drinks.
  • Foolish drinks from a flask at a cemetery.
  • After Quentin tells him that he drinks too much and is an alcoholic, Foolish replies that "with a brother like you, you're lucky I'm not smoking crack."
  • We see Foolish in a bar at closing time and he's quite drunk. Later, we see him lying on his floor, still drunk and drinking wine straight from the bottle.
  • People have drinks at Quentin's comedy revue.
  • Foolish jokes about trying to get out of the Army by "smoking weed."
  • We see some foamy spit running from a man's mouth who's just had a heart attack.
  • Some viewers may not like Foolish's irreverent brand of humor that attacks and makes fun of all races (including some stereotypical sounding accents for certain races), some religious matters and even the Jerry Lewis telethon (and he briefly acts like someone with MS).
  • Quentin, El Dorado Ron and the rest of the men involved in criminal activity have both.
  • We hear that Quentin paid for Desiree's abortion that occurred after Foolish got her pregnant (at sixteen) and then hit the road (joining the army).
  • Some masked men rush in and hold their guns on other men playing poker, but it turns out to be Quentin and Foolish playing a joke (and one of those men grabs the gun and tries to shoot Foolish, but it's empty). Another man, however, has a heart attack and dies.
  • Other scenes listed under "Violence" could possibly be tense to some viewers.
  • Handguns: Used by Quentin and Foolish in a prank hold up and by a thug to threaten Quentin.
  • Phrases: "I don't give a f*ck," "Shut the f*ck up," "Jerk off," "Jack off," and "Bust a nut" (sexual), "Nigger" and "Bitch" (said many times), "Piss," "Sucking," "Loser," "Dumb ass," "Punk ass," "Kiss my (black) ass," "Fat head" and "Busting my balls."
  • Foolish attacks different races, religion and other people in his jokes and some kids may try to retell some of his jokes (and/or make up similar ones of their own).
  • Some masked men rush in and hold their guns on other men playing poker, but it turns out to be Quentin and Foolish playing a joke.
  • Quentin has gold-capped front teeth.
  • Foolish jokes about "pissing" on his Captain's head in the Army so that he would be discharged.
  • None.
  • A tiny bit of suspenseful music plays in one scene.
  • While we only heard 1 "s" word (while trying to note all of the other profanities), the few rap songs with unintelligible lyrics might possibly contain more.
  • The following should be considered a minimum: At least 200 "f" words (107 used with "mother" and 9 used sexually), 81 "s" words, 14 slang terms for female genitals ("p*ssy"), 8 for male genitals ("d*ck") and 1 for breasts ("t*tties"), 43 asses (2 used with "hole"), 22 damns, 5 hells, and 11 uses of "G-damn," 2 uses of "For Christ's sakes," and 1 use each of "Jesus Christ," "Jesus," "Oh God," "By God" and "Oh my God" as exclamations.
  • Stating that Heaven is too refined and that you can't get any "p*ssy" there, Foolish says that he'd rather go to Hell where, among other things, he could "get my d*ck sucked."
  • Foolish mentions getting a "lot of p*ssy" in a car.
  • A waitress in a club shows cleavage in several scenes.
  • A "guardian angel" (who's supposed to be Redd Foxx) says that a man's "so poor that he's got to jerk off his dog to feed his cat."
  • Foolish asks a reverend who's attending his show if he "eats p*ssy" and then says that he knows he has to be "f*cking" the woman with him. He then talks and gestures about "parting the red sea" (a woman) and "letting your people go" (ejaculating).
  • Foolish then goes on to rant about wondering when "p*ssy" became more important than "d*ck" and then states that a woman has an ATM machine between her legs (meaning if a woman gives her husband sex, he gives her money) and says, "D*ck go in, money come out."
  • We see several women in extremely skimpy bikinis that show lots of cleavage and most of their bare butts in thong-like bottoms.
  • We hear a comedian in the background mentioning masturbation.
  • As Charisse gets dressed, we see her bare breasts. When she tells Foolish "F*ck you," he states "That's what you do, but you're not that damn good at it." He then states that she was dry "like sandpaper."
  • Foolish comments that his sexual education was to look at naked pictures of women and then "jack off."
  • Talking about homosexuals, Foolish says "How do you find love in another hairy sack?"
  • We see a bare-breasted woman sitting in a chair who then stands up and walks away briefly showing full frontal nudity.
  • Another comedian mentions people doing "the wild thing" and then (using movie titles in his act), says that he may be "Lost in space, but I never die hard" and then mentions something about "private parts."
  • Another comedian says that he likes to think of masturbation as "making love to someone special." A comment is then made about "rough sex" where the comedian says, "I'll f*ck you from the back and burn you with a cigarette."
  • Foolish jokes that women lie when they say that they "don't want to f*ck as much as we do."
  • Talking about races or ethnic groups and their genital sizes, Foolish says that if a white man "has five inches of d*ck he thinks he's swinging." He then states that a Spanish fellow is a bit larger, a "Chinaman" much smaller, and a "nigger" is huge and demonstrates that by dropping his microphone and its cord to the floor.
  • Foolish asks a woman, "Do you have any black in you?" When she says no, he replies, "Would you like some?" He then asks another woman if she's "f*cking someone."
  • We learn that Foolish got his girlfriend pregnant at the age of sixteen.
  • A painting on a wall shows a reclining bare-breasted woman who shows a bit of pubic hair.
  • A woman lies down on a bed (we see her bare breasts) and Quentin gets on top of her and they kiss.
  • A woman in a club wears a fishnet-like outfit over top of another skimpy one. As such (and through the fishnet material), we see the bottom half of her breasts as well as most of her butt.
  • During an act a comedian asks a couple if they're "f*cking" and then says that if the man bought the woman a drink, "I hope you f*ck her." He then says that there's "nothing wrong with f*cking on the first date."
  • During a Viagra joke, a comedian makes some sexual movements while talking about "busting a nut" (used sexually).
  • Foolish jokes about a woman thinking an earthquake was just part of her sexual experience.
  • Foolish smokes more than ten times, Quentin smokes a cigar, and various other comedians and miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • Foolish and his brother Quentin don't always get along and eventually having a falling out.
  • They learn that their grandmother has died.
  • Foolish talks about meeting his father for the first time when both were adults.
  • Foolish's desire not to sell out for fame and money.
  • The life of the standup comedian.
  • The irreverent, profanity-laced jokes made about sex, drugs, other races, etc...
  • Some masked men rush in and hold their guns on other men playing poker, but it turns out to be Quentin and Foolish playing a joke (and one of those men grabs the gun and tries to shoot Foolish, but it's empty). Another man, however, has a heart attack and dies.
  • After they get into an argument, Foolish pushes Charisse to the bed. She in turn throws a lamp at him that shatters against the wall and then leaves. He then follows her outside and hops on what turns out to be his own car and repeatedly smashes the windshield with a baseball bat.
  • A man tries to hit Quentin with a bat and finally succeeds, hitting him several times. Another man then holds a gun to Quentin's head.
  • We hear the sound coming from a tape of El Dorado Ron shooting someone.
  • In anger, Foolish throws a stereo speaker to the floor and then kicks it.
  • Foolish recounts hitting his real-life father in the jaw upon first meeting him (when both were adults) because that's what his grandmother told him to do if he ever met the man.
  • A person hits another person.

  • Reviewed April 9, 1999 / Posted April 11, 1999

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