What You Need To Know:
(LL, V, SS, N, H, Ab) Moderate obscenities and profanities, brief violence, promiscuity, sexual innuendo, bathroom humor, nudity, humanism, and anti-Christian in that two religious leaders were made to look foolish.
Dexter Jackson is a streetwise, African-American “homeboy” who lands a TV broadcasting job, only to experience shattered relationships and an acute identity crisis.
On TV, Dexter exposes: gambling at Bubba’s Barber Shop; the use of lard in entrees at Anna Mae’s Fatback Kitchen; a priest who blows up a drugstore in an attempt to boycott the store’s condom sales; and, his old buddy “Four Fingers” who steals cars.
Many of the people portrayed in Dexter’s reports are friends or old acquaintances. They feel betrayed, suspecting Dexter has turned his back on the black community.
As a result, Dexter’s conscience begins to torment him. While reviewing clips of his telecast, Dexter envisions himself turning white. With every newscast, he sees himself becoming more and more Caucasian.
Dexter’s white “demon” continually goads from the screen, but he rationalizes that things will settle down after he marries his girlfriend, Tornell.
Their engagement becomes bad news at the office, however. Dexter’s supervisor doesn’t think marriage to Tornell is a wise career move.
As a subplot, Dexter’s supervisor bribes another news anchor, Missy Carnes, with a promotion if she will sleep with Dex and destroy his engagement. Missy and Dex end up in bed. Tornell finds out and gets mad.
Dex’s supervisor tells him he must marry Missy if he ever wants to be promoted to news anchor. He reluctantly agrees.
The wedding, telecast as a GONE WITH THE WIND spectacular in order to boost ratings, turns into a fiasco. Dex’s Caucasian demon prods him from a teleprompter to marry Missy and turn completely white. Dex throws chairs at the tormenting image, screaming, “I am black, and I always will be! You can’t take away my blackness!”
Dexter’s polylogistic dilemma is actually a neo-Marxist syndrome in which everything is viewed from a ethnic point of view. His fear of “becoming White” is stereotypical and foolish. To become a clean-cut, black professional is not necessarily forsaking one’s culture.
Actually, Dex’s whole problem is in his mind. He has equated a new professional image and compromising values (following the whims of his supervisor in order to keep his job) with compromised culture. We should all guard ourselves against faulty thinking. God does not discriminate nor create stereotypes, and neither should we.
Overall, this not-so-funny comedy uses bathroom humor to explore an ill-constructed dilemma with an unrealistic, slapstick revenge ending. LIVIN’ LARGE also depicts two religious people, a priest and a pastor (Missy’s father) as idiots. Even if this film is not taken seriously, it may subtly reinforce racial prejudice of blacks towards whites (e.g., Reverend Al Sharpton and Two-Live Crew).