Girl 6

A few months before Get On the Bus, Spike Lee released his biggest flop up to that time, which is actually pretty funny, though the script (by future Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks) is patchy. Theresa Randle is a struggling New York actress who takes a job as a phone-sex worker. She gets hooked on the intimate dirty talk and unwisely gives some callers her home number. One of them is psycho Michael Imperioli, who’d like to rape her while suffocating her with a trash bag. This late-inning shift to queasy suspense cuts the legs out from under the comedy, to say the least. The rest of it is a juicy update of Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It: Lee’s character Jimmy is like Mars Blackmon ten years later, and the monologue Randle delivers for her audition is taken verbatim from Nola Darling’s first speech. Randle is sensuous and smart, and the amusing supporting cast includes Isaiah Washington (as her thieving ex-husband), Debi Mazar, Madonna (who’s not bad as a phone-sex exec — Spike and Madonna had to work together eventually), Quentin Tarantino (as a loutish director named QT), Halle Berry, John Turturro, Richard Belzer, Peter Berg, Naomi Campbell, and Ron Silver. Not one of Lee’s best, but better than most critics claimed. Worth seeing just to catch Spike as George Jefferson.

Explore posts in the same categories: comedy, drama

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