Livin' Large

  • 1991
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy

Loaded with funny jabs at a number of sacred media cows and graced with the presence of a very talented newcomer, Terrence "T.C." Carson, LIVIN' LARGE, which is clearly targeted at young urban audiences, hits its mark more times than it misses, making the film truly above-average entertainment. Set in contemporary Atlanta, Georgia, the story traces the...read more

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Loaded with funny jabs at a number of sacred media cows and graced with the presence of a very talented newcomer, Terrence "T.C." Carson, LIVIN' LARGE, which is clearly targeted at young urban audiences, hits its mark more times than it misses, making the film truly above-average

entertainment.

Set in contemporary Atlanta, Georgia, the story traces the adventures of Dexter Jackson (Carson), a dry cleaner's truck driver with dreams of becoming a topnotch TV newscaster. A twist of fate puts Dexter at the right place at the right time when a TV reporter covering a local hostage crisis is

shot during the fray. Dexter grabs hold of the Videocam and takes over the on-the-air coverage of the situation. His quick thinking, coupled with a sparkling personality, makes Dexter an instant media sensation. He finds himself hired to replace the dead newsman and is soon being praised by his

station's news director, Kate Penndragin (Blanche Baker). Not unlike Faye Dunaway in NETWORK, Kate is a ruthless career woman, with a sharp sense of the crass, who will do anything and sacrifice anyone for the sake of good ratings. Kate pulls out all the stops to groom Dexter for media stardom,

including having him take diction lessons and completely overhauling his wardrobe. Also, she insists Dexter dump his "Homeboy about Atlanta" image which, in Kate's opinion, only serves to call attention of the white audience to a stereotyped view of blacks. Peculiar things start happening to

Dexter as Kate pushes him further and further away from his true self. He moves into the "Whyteman Towers," has a memory lapse over how to dance and even starts to eat pork ribs with a fork. Kate tricks Dexter into brushing off the girl he loves, Toynelle Davis (Lisa Arrindell), in favor of white

weathergirl Missy Carnes (Julia Campbell), figuring that an on-the-air marriage between the two will cause a sensation, particularly in Atlanta. Success goes to Dexter's head and he even begins double-crossing all his friends in order to get news stories. By now his lifestyle starts catching up

with him as, a la Dorian Gray, he sees himself on TV literally turning white. Just as it seems certain that Dexter has sold his soul to the Devil, his tough, determined and cast aside girlfriend comes to the rescue.

A sly cautionary tale about the pitfalls of a black man's rise in the white man's world, LIVIN' LARGE contains elements of both NETWORK and BROADCAST NEWS, to far more modest effect. Nonetheless, this film is devilishly entertaining and it never runs out of steam. As already mentioned, Terrence

"T.C." Carson is a real find, a genuine four-star talent who is sure to be entertaining audiences for a long time to come. Plaudits go to both veteran director Michael Schultz (CAR WASH, GREASED LIGHTNING, COOLEY HIGH) and screenwriter William Mosely Payne for a job well done.(Profanity, adultsituations.)

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  • Released: 1991
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Loaded with funny jabs at a number of sacred media cows and graced with the presence of a very talented newcomer, Terrence "T.C." Carson, LIVIN' LARGE, which is clearly targeted at young urban audiences, hits its mark more times than it misses, making the… (more)

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