Brown Sugar

  • Film
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You don't expect New York HipHop rom-coms to come quite this safe - in the non-cool sense of the word, that is. The endless displays of conspicuous buppie consumption can perhaps be excused as a conventional Hollywood aspirational hook. But the sheer conventionality of the script, directed by a Nigerian American, about two music professionals slow to grasp that they're destined for each other, married to a doubtful insistence on notions of musical and personal authenticity, puts the film in danger of succumbing to what it seeks to expose. That said, there are two attractive leads. Lathan is 'brown sugar' ('sexy, but no 'ho'), the journalist Sid, recently promoted to editor of 'XXL' magazine; and Diggs is her love object Dre, an executive with sell-out 'issues' at Millennium records. And where the sub-standard writing allows, the director shows that he can handle a light comic scene, like the one where the soigné Dre tries to prove he's 'gully' (ghetto quality) to reluctant signee DJ Chris (the enjoyable Mos Def). The film is packed with HH stars playing their inimitable selves, and it includes a good album's worth of their music. The dramatic wattage, however, remains dim.

Release details

Duration: 109 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Screenwriter: Michael Elliot, Rick Famuyiwa
Cast: Taye Diggs
Sanaa Lathan
Mos Def
Nicole Ari Parker
Boris Kodjoe
Queen Latifah
Wendell Pierce
Erik Weiner
Reggi Wyns
Melissa Martinez
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