Strictly Business

  • 1991
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy, Romance

Kevin Hooks' light though undistinguished buppie comedy that uses mainstream escapism to soft-pedal hardball racial and corporate politics. The movie follows upwardly mobile achiever Waymon Tinsdale III (Joseph C. Phillips), who's about to close a $75,000,000 deal that could seal a partnership with his midtown realty firm. The only glitch in his bolted-down...read more

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Kevin Hooks' light though undistinguished buppie comedy that uses mainstream escapism to soft-pedal hardball racial and corporate politics. The movie follows upwardly mobile achiever Waymon Tinsdale III (Joseph C. Phillips), who's about to close a $75,000,000 deal that could seal a partnership with his midtown realty firm. The only glitch in his bolted-down executive lifestyle is his fraying friendship with funky mailroom worker Bobby Johnson (Tommy Davidson)--Waymon's backed off a promise to get Bobby into the executive

training program. But the tables are turned when Waymon has a chance encounter with beautiful Natalie (Halle Berry). To win Natalie's heart, Waymon will have to learn to be more "black;" Bobby, naturally, will be his tutor.

Despite its predictability, STRICTLY BUSINESS remains engaging largely through the efforts of its entertaining cast. Phillips and Davidson are a solid comic team, with Phillips's amusing efforts to be more "black" being one of the film's comic highlights. Davidson is likable and credible in mixing street smarts with upward aspirations. The romance itself is mostly routine, though made compelling by the then-unknown Berry, whose show-stopping beauty whom Hooks photographs in steamily sensual, back-lit style. Although there is more to her character than meets the eye, she is treated mostly as a fantasy figure--fittingly, in a film that flirts with social satire but beds down with slick wish-fulfillment instead.

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  • Released: 1991
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Kevin Hooks' light though undistinguished buppie comedy that uses mainstream escapism to soft-pedal hardball racial and corporate politics. The movie follows upwardly mobile achiever Waymon Tinsdale III (Joseph C. Phillips), who's about to close a $75,000,… (more)

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