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Film review: Booty Call

Other than lousy acting, tastelessness and lack of humor, this flick is great.

Published: Friday, Feb. 28 1997 12:00 a.m. MST

Strictly for the record, alleged comedian Jamie Foxx and film actress Vivica A. Fox are not related.

For one thing, given his track record for failed television series (including the waning years of "In Living Color" and his own miserable solo show for the WB network) and her penchant for picking movie blockbusters (such as "Independence Day"), you'd swear they were on completely different career tracks altogether.

However, "Booty Call" proves the two finally have something in common: a serious lack of taste or foresight when this crude and unfunny comedy film was offered to them.

In it, Foxx and Tommy Davidson, his former "In Living Color" co-star, play a pair of inner-city New York buds who are hoping to "get lucky." Rushon (Davidson), in particular, hasn't been successful in bedding down his girlfriend, Nikki (Tamala Jones), despite the fact that they've been dating for nearly two months.

So, in the hopes of easing their "frustrations," Rushon and Nikki go out on the town, accompanied by Bunz (Foxx) and Lysterine (Fox), Nikki's supposed "high class" friend, who considers Bunz to be beneath her. Naturally, their insults and incessant bantering are concealing their obvious sexual attraction, and the two quickly head back to her place.

Nikki and Rushon also head back to her apartment, but before anything can happen, Nikki asks Rushon to buy some prophylactics, accompanied by Bunz, of course. In the process, the two lose Nikki's pet and are forced to look through Chinatown for the dog.

As you can probably tell, the film is nothing but a cruder (much cruder), feature-length version of Foxx's show, padded out with scenes of his terrible impressions (including Bill Cosby, Mike Tyson and William Shatner) and bits involving animals and babies.

But under the guise of making a comedy about safe sex, the producers, writers and stars manage to skirt the issue completely — ignoring any discussions about abstinence, except for a quick comedic dismissal of it as an option, as well as any talk of the consequences of unprotected sex. They also manage to throw in quite a bit of undeniably sexist and racist (at the expense Chinese-Americans and Middle Eastern immigrants) "humor."

More disgraceful than that, though, is the fact that Nikki is considered to be a prude because she refuses to have sex unless she is in love with her partner.

On top of the inept scripting and direction, you've also got a bevy of some of the worst performances in recent history, especially Fox, who comes off as hypocritical and shrill, and Foxx, who just mugs for the camera while making goofy faces. But they're both brilliant compared to Davidson, who has two acting emotions — wooden and petrified forest wooden.

"Booty Call" is rated R for rampant profanity, a couple of somewhat graphic sex scenes, tons of vulgar jokes and references, slaptick violence, brief nudity and a few racial epithets.

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