Time Out says
Of course, Chris Rock loves to crack us up, but lately, a stealth dramatist has emerged: His previous self-directed film, 2007’s I Think I Love My Wife, was based on a chatty Eric Rohmer classic, and watching him play off Julie Delpy in 2 Days in New York (2012) made him seem like a Linklater-ready natural. That impulse is further pursued in the dazzling Top Five—on the surface, a lost-artist comedy in the vein of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories, but more deeply, a referendum on the dead-end choices Rock himself might be feeling.
Rock plays Andre Allen, a star resisting the celebrity machine that has him wearing a bear costume in his latest blockbuster sequel and also engaged to a shallow reality-TV princess (Gabrielle Union). Warily, Andre eases into a long interview with a sharp journalist (Rosario Dawson) sure to expose him, but that’s when the movie drops into a sensitive register, mutual vulnerabilities coming to the fore during the pair’s walk-and-talk NYC chat. There’s still broad humor here (Cedric the Entertainer owns the flow as a rowdy concert promoter), but that material is funnier for being a part of many comic tones.
Follow Joshua Rothkopf on Twitter: @joshrothkopf
Cast and crew