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On Friday my darling fiancée and I went to see “Dear White People.”  Here is my quick NO SPOILERS review, but first things first.

Here is why you should support this movie with your money.

  1. It is directed by a Black man.
  2. It is written by a Black man.
  3. It is not about slavery, gangsters, or sports scholarship.
  4. It is a contemporary story about racism in America.
  5. The women in this movie are not played by Tyler Perry.

What I liked:

If you’re familiar with movies about racism then you’re probably used to a level of heavy-handedness normally reserved for the WWF.  Dear White People is anything but that.  The story is a tapestry of agendas, motivations, and truths.  The characters are diverse and wonderfully thought out.

What I liked Less:

Why is it that in an age filled with three hour movies, Dear White People is only 1hr 48 minutes?  I wanted them to keep going!  I wanted them to cover more subjects, more situations, more everything!

I want everyone to see this movie but it’s not for everyone.  This is not a movie about every day racism, it is very specifically about the racism found within the world of academia, more specifically Ivy League academia.  So unless you went to one of the eight Ivy League schools in America there is definitely going to be a disconnect.

Add to this initial disconnect is the vocabulary.  The terminology used in the movie is such that instead of holding the audience’s hand it slams a Black Studies 101 textbook on your lap and yells “START READING.”  I’m not complaining about this, but if you had a friend that needed some racial education this movie is more of  a “fifth step” instead of a “first step.”

The one thing I didn’t like:

One of the main characters of this movie “Sam White” (played by Tessa Thompson) is wonderfully confident, relentlessly intelligent, and unflinchingly honest.  And you get to see her bare ass!  She’s not the only character that gets sexualized, but she’s the only one that had to take off her pants.  I think Justin Simien just wanted footage of Thompson’s butt because it was completely unnecessary.  Also? everyone in this movie is gorgeous except Sam White’s sexual partner.  What’s the deal?  Did they have to bring her down a couple notches because she was too awesome for the movies?  Annoying.