Soul Man

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The plot of' Soul Man - white middle class boy takes an overdose of suntan pills to enable him to qualify fraudulently for a black law students' scholarship - is sufficient to leave the meekest ideologue screeching with rage. But it's hard to be angry with a film which at least is an honest attempt to make a responsible (if lightweight) comedy encompassing aspects of racism in America. It's often extremely funny, but the problem is that Miner undermines his good intentions by allowing too many jokes about racial stereotypes. Soul Man is at its most incisive when questioning everyday racist assumptions, and is helped to that end by fine performances from Howell (as the fraud), Chong and Jones. In the end, however, it's let down by one easy laugh too many.

Release details

Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Steve Miner
Screenwriter: Carol Black
Cast: C Thomas Howell
Arye Gross
Rae Dawn Chong
James Earl Jones
Melora Hardin
Leslie Nielsen
James B Sikking
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