At 20, flirtatious Jody (Gibson) has two cute offspring, one with tempestuous longterm girlfriend Yvette (Henson), and one with jailbait Peanut (Bass). But Jody's little more than a kid himself: obsessed with his appetites, scared of responsibility, still living with his savvy momma. Days are spent scheming outside the liquor store with desperate buddy Sweetpea (Gooding), before mom's musclebound new man and Yvette's thuggish ex throw his arrested development into flux. The film's coming-of-age drama returns writer/director Singleton to South Central LA, where he's back on form (after Shaft). Visceral, bristling with sex and conflict, the action is bolstered by sharp, effusive dialogue and a g-funk soundtrack. Gibson is the striking lynchpin of a charismatic cast. Overall, it may not match the raw impact of Singleton's 1991 debut Boyz N the Hood, but his earlier preachiness has matured into a succinct sense of humour, making Baby Boy his most rounded delivery to date.