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“American Fiction”- I went to a showing last night. Ask me anything!

I wanted to like this one, but sadly I just didn’t. If the film focused solely on what the trailer is selling it would have been a lot better, but we do not get into the story of him selling out to sell copies of a book until almost an hour into the movie. The movie is about Monk’s love life, family life and everyday life as much as his work life.

I understand it’s satire and I think the scenes about him writing a book filled with black stereotypes as a joke but it actually gets published and becomes a best seller were amazing. They were witty and clever. But the scenes about his home life, finding a home for his mother who now has Alzheimer’s, his sister suddenly dying, his brother who just recently came out of the closet later in life, the neighbor he starts a relationship with etc. were pretty boring overall and became annoying by the end of the movie, and I think part of that is because none of that is even hinted in the trailers. The trailers sells a film about a man educated black author who writes a book filled with black stereotypes and uses a moniker and cosplays as a black stereotype in order to sell books, as white people eat up a former criminal who is now an author. There is actually not much of that in the movie.

However, this is just my opinion. Many seem to like it and as I left the 100% filled theater of almost all white people, there were people who seemed to love it. Maybe the movie had a point.

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by Anonymousreply 6February 10, 2024 4:55 PM

Just watched it tonight and agree with much that you say. Except I didn't even find the premise of him writing a bestseller very convincing or sharply satiric. I admired the idea of it but found it rather flat, unfunny and unbelievable. The style was very uneven.

All that family stuff was meandering. Didn't even need the sister's presence in the film in the beginning. And the housekeeper's love affair and wedding. Was the book agent's office in Boston? That seemed odd. And that the "author" could remain anonymous once he met with the Hollywood produce/director.

Loved Sterling K Brown's as the gay brother but were we really supposed to believe he was a plastic surgeon? With no money or concern to help his mother out? The writing of this character just didn't ring true despite the good performance.

And Jeffrey Wright was fine but hardly Oscar-worthy. But then I thought that about Paul Giamatti in The Holdovers, too. Standards have really been lowered in the 21st century.

by Anonymousreply 1January 2, 2024 3:58 AM

Completely agree with both of you. The trailer was sharp and funny but the movie is very conventional as is Wright’s performance.

by Anonymousreply 2January 2, 2024 5:25 AM

Read the novel Erasure by Percival Everett. It’s much better than the film adaptation and more innovative.

by Anonymousreply 3January 2, 2024 5:31 AM

The biggest sin is the movie lacked style directorially. Couldn't decide if it was a comedy, a satire or a melodrama.

I assume all the family stuff is there to show us that Black people can be upper middle class, work at important jobs, live in beautiful homes, etc. But there's no edge to anything presented. The Jeffersons made the point better.

by Anonymousreply 4January 2, 2024 2:53 PM

R4 that wasn’t the point…

by Anonymousreply 5January 2, 2024 3:57 PM

I couldn’t stand the music score.

I’m a SAG voter and Sterling K. Briwn definitely has my vote. Yeah, his character doesn’t add up but he made me laugh and cry and tgat’s good enough for me. And yes, RDJ in Oppenheimer is very good but his performance didn’t make me feel anything except mild admiration.

by Anonymousreply 6February 10, 2024 4:55 PM
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