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"BROWN SUGAR"
(2002) (Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Heavy None Heavy None None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None Mild Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Minor Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama/Comedy: Despite being romantically involved with others, two lifelong friends in the hip-hop music business slowly but surely realize that they're right for each other.
PLOT:
Dre Ellis (TAYE DIGGS) and Sidney Shaw (SANAA LATHAN) have known each other since they met as young kids. Having grown up along with hip-hop music, the two are still in the business. Dre is a producer for Millennium Records where he's grown uncomfortable with rampant commercialism on the part of his boss, Simon (WENDELL PIERCE), in signing goofy acts such as Ren and Ten (ERIK WEINER & REGGI WYNS), the Rap Dalmatians, in an effort to sell records.

Sidney is a respected music journalist who's also writing a book on her love of and involvement in the hip-hop scene. Although the two friends are so close they practically know everything there is to know about each other, they're blind to any sort of possible romantic attraction, although Sidney's best friend, Francine (QUEEN LATIFAH), can easily see it.

Nevertheless, Dre ends up marrying Reese (NICOLE ARI PARKER), a lawyer, while Sidney starts dating Kelby Dawson (BORIS KODJOE), a professional basketball player. Despite their involvement with them, Dre and Sidney still spend a great deal of time together. Not surprisingly, their closeness progressively irritates and worries their significant others, particularly when Sidney decides to help bankroll Dre's new business of signing real artists such as Chris (MOS DEF), a cab driver who's initially reluctant to sign anything.

He eventually does, and as times passes, Dre and Sidney, as well as their significant others, eventually come to realize what Francine has known all along, and that's that the two belong together.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of anyone in the cast, romantic dramedies or hip-hop music, they just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For sexual content and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • TAYE DIGGS plays a hip-hop music producer who's become dissatisfied by the commercialism of the music. Accordingly, he quits his job and tries to sign various artists, including Chris. Despite being married to Reese, he's still quite close to Sidney and eventually has sex with her (the night after discovering that his wife has been cheating on him). He also uses some profanity and drinks (to the point of being inebriated in one scene).
  • SANAA LATHAN plays his best friend, a music critic and writer who's jealous of his marriage, but ends up engaged to Kelby (with whom she has sex on their first date). She later has sex with Dre while engaged to Kelby, drinks and uses some profanity while trying to figure out who she wants in her life.
  • NICOLE ARI PARKER plays Dre's lawyer wife who becomes jealous and upset over the time he spends with Sidney. She drinks and eventually cheats on him.
  • BORIS KODJOE plays Sidney's fiancÚ, a professional basketball player who doesn't pay as much attention to her as does Dre. He drinks and becomes upset with her over her involvement with Dre.
  • QUEEN LATIFAH plays Sidney's best friend who drinks, uses some profanity and can't believe that Sidney and Dre aren't together romantically.
  • MOS DEF plays a cab driver and part-time hip-hop artist who drinks, smokes, uses some profanity, likes Francine but is too shy to ask her out, and lends various forms of life-changing advice to Dre.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this romantic dramedy that's been rated PG-13. Profanity consists of at least 1 "f" word and other expletives, while various colorful phrases are also used and some songs have lyrics that some viewers might not like. Sexually related dialogue is present, sexual encounters occur off-screen, various women are seen in varying forms of revealing attire, and there's comedic material regarding vibrators and black leather panties with a zipper on them.

    Various characters drink (some to the point of being inebriated), some smoke and a reference is made to smoking weed. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, including a married couple cheating on their spouses, all of which stems from and leads to marital discord.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • We see several characters holding unknown bottles in brown paper bags on the city streets.
  • People have drinks at a party, including Francine who has one in each hand, while Sidney also has a drink.
  • Women have drinks at a bridal shower.
  • Chris has a beer.
  • People have champagne at a reception/party.
  • Francine, Sidney and their dates have wine with dinner.
  • Sidney has a drink.
  • Sidney and Kelby have drinks.
  • Dre has a drink in front of him.
  • Sidney has a beer.
  • Various people have drinks and champagne at a party at Francine's place. Dre appears inebriated (and says he's a little "twisted"), as does Kelby (for whom Reese pours more champagne).
  • Dre jokes that Chris smokes too much grass.
  • People have drinks in a bar, including Dre and Reese.
  • Sidney has some champagne.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • None.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Dre briefly makes out with Sidney the night before his marriage.
  • At the wedding, Francine and Sidney argue and thus disrupt the ceremony.
  • Dre doesn't tell Reese about his plans to quit his job before he does, and she overacts to him doing so (resulting in a falling out between them).
  • Reese turns out to be cheating (or trying to) on Dre with another man (who's not aware that she's married). He then ends up sleeping with Sidney (although he thinks he's getting a divorce, he's still married at the time).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • None.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the f*ck was that?" "Got their sh*t together," "Oh sh*t," "He don't mean that sh*t," "Bullsh*t," "Don't let that sh*t get you down," "This sh*t's tight," "Ho" (whore), "I don't give a damn," "Hell, yeah," "Fine ass," "I punked out," "My ass," "Small as hell," "Nigger" (said playfully by a black man about another black man), "You arrogant son of a bitch," "Time is a bitch," "What the hell is this?" and "Punk."
  • We see various women in tight, revealing or midriff-revealing clothing.
  • Kelby has tattoos on his arms while Dre has a small one on his arm.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • Some newly signed hip-hop artists sing a song entitled, "The Ho is Mine" that has the word "bitch" in it as well as the lyric, "You've got to soothe that itch."
  • Another song had the phrase "fat ass."
  • Other songs had lyrics that could not be understood, thus offering the possibility of additional potentially objectionable content.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 13 "s" words, 3 slang terms for sex ("tap that" and "boning"), 24 damns, 6 asses, 5 hells, 1 S.O.B., 5 uses of "Oh my God" and 1 use of "Jesus Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We see various women in tight, revealing or midriff-revealing clothing, while they and others (including Sidney, Francine and Reese in various scenes) show cleavage.
  • While helping Sidney sort through her belongings in her new place, Francine holds up a large vibrator, suggestively wondering where it goes (after Sidney says she knows where everything goes). Sidney embarrassedly says that it's a massager from Brookstone, but Francine later makes a joke about the various speeds on it.
  • Francine says that Sidney should go out with Dre so that she can get the buddy and the "booty."
  • Reese opens Sidney's gift at her bridal shower and it turns out to be a small pair of leather panties with a zipper on them. Most there acted shocked, but an older woman seems delighted by the gift and Reese jokes that they'll be perfect with her whip.
  • Dre tells Sidney that men are looking for women who are sexy, but not a "ho" (whore), saying that's Reese. He then adds, "Don't be confused by her business suit, she is a freak in the bedroom." He then talks about women in video shoots who have their breasts cropped up and their "booties" hanging out. He refers to that type as just wanting to have fun and that he'd "tap that as well."
  • Dre and Sidney passionately kiss and he starts to lower what she has around her upper body (it was hard to tell) and we see just a brief, partial glimpse of the side of her bare breast. They stop before anything else happens.
  • The next day, Francine notes a look between Sidney and Dre and asks Sidney if she "boned" him (and playfully calls her a "little ho").
  • Dre tells Chris that "ain't nobody givin' it to my wife but me."
  • We see Reese wearing just a long dress shirt.
  • While on their first date, Sidney jokingly asks Kelby if he thinks he's going to "get some booty" tonight and he says yeah (they laugh about it and he says that's part of the man/woman plan). The two later passionately kiss and Dre later calls her and says that Kelby's doing what he's doing so that he can "tap that." After they get off the phone, Sidney and Kelby awkwardly sit together on the couch and she suddenly blurts out, "Let's have sex now." He replies, "Let's," and the two then get up and head off (to presumably have sex, but we don't see anything else).
  • Sidney and Dre passionately make out while standing and clothed, with him also nuzzling her neck. We then hear her saying she can't believe what just happened and we then see them in bed under the sheets. She keeps repeating that (or variations thereof - referring to them having sex) and he keeps responding as if she wasn't satisfied with his efforts. He says he's usually like the Energizer bunny that he can keep going and going and she says it was bad (that they made a mistake). He then says they got busy (we see her bare back as she sits up) and then see him in his boxers. She then jokes that it was the most amazing and exhilarating five minutes she ever had and the two comically banter about and finally agree on the amount of time it took.
  • Chris makes homosexual references to the end of Casablanca where two men walk off together in the fog. He then tells Dre not to think that's going to happen between them and Dre then jokingly acts gay toward him (saying, "Don't fight it").
  • As Dre and Sidney passionately make out, Chris jokes that the two should get a room and Francine chimes in that they probably will.
  • SMOKING
  • Chris smokes two times and some miscellaneous characters also smoke.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • We hear that Francine is divorced.
  • Dre and Reese have a spat about him quitting his job.
  • Reese turns out to be cheating (or trying to) on Dre with another man (who's not aware that she's married). Dre then catches her doing that and announces they're getting a divorce (they later talk about that and she wants to try again, but he doesn't and no kids are involved).
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Hip-hop music.
  • Finding one's true love.
  • Selling out and forgoing one's beliefs to get by or further one's career.
  • Failed marriages.
  • Affairs.
  • Sex on the first date.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Reese and Sidney end up as punching partners in a boxing class (where one punches the gloved hands of the other). Reese then lets out her frustrations with Sidney by progressively hitting Sidney's gloves harder.
  • Dre and Chris get into a mock/pretend fight (as if they're going to fight in exaggerated moves, but no contact is made).



  • Reviewed September 30, 2002 / Posted October 11, 2002

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