TRIPPIN' Add To My Top 10
Release Date: May 14, 1999
Runtime: 94 minutes
Distributor: October Films
Director: David Hubbard
Producer: Marc Abraham & Caitlin Scanlon
Writer: Gary Hardwick
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Greg (Deon Richmond), or "G" as he likes to be called, spends his days daydreaming about being popular, hanging out with women in bikinis in hot tubs and even more sexually charged ideas. His parents want him to knuckle down for final exams and then apply for college. During the day, G enjoys looking at the ladies and wondering if he can ever get Ginny (Maia Campbell) to like him and go with him to the prom.
Greg does eventually befriend Ginny, but she just wants to remain friends. Greg does eventually get around to applying for colleges, but all he gets are a bunch of rejection notices. Meanwhile, Greg and his buddy Fish (Guy Torry) are getting a strong-arm sales pitch from a local drug dealer who wants them to come work for him. The story suggests that if Fish and Greg don't get accepted to college, they may have to work for the drug dealer.
Greg wants to win Ginny's love and respect so bad that he lies to her and tells her he was accepted into UCLA. She finds out he told a lie and doesn't want to see him again. Greg ends up going to the prom alone, facing the drug dealer in a final showdown, and overcoming his daydreaming to do well in the final exams, with the help of a supportive teacher.
With a few humorous elements, such as Greg's Grandpa constantly asking for pork sausage and bacon, this movie resorts to a lot of the tried and now stale stereotypical horny black man humor. Greg even imagines his mother telling college recruiters that the schools better have plenty of sexually interested women. Sexual humor and obscenities abound in this movie.
Yet, Greg's mother and father apparently have a strong marriage (which is good and rare for modern African-American movies, regrettably) and guide him with a firm but loving hand. Also, a teacher gets into the act and tells Greg he has choices. Finally, Greg apologizes to Ginny for lying and even makes up for it too, resulting in a happy ending.
Despite its positive qualities, TRIPPIN' remains a low-impact, narrow market, stereotypical, and largely unfunny comedy. These movies are made on so low budgets that they still make an enormous return on their investment. Hence, more movies like TRIPPIN' are bound to come. At least in this one the hero doesn't act on every sexual impulse, and it is kindness and truth that win him the girl, not some smooth move. This is an improvement on the worst of this type of movie, but not much.