The taboo of the interracial love affair between Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes) and Angie Tucci (Annabella Sciorra) might seem overblown in 2016 — above the Mason-Dixon Line, anyway — but it was Seneca levels of Roman tragedy in the late '80s to early '90s.
In 1991, Lee seemed convinced that this was the correct move: "This was the film to deal with drugs in.
Everything in the film is spelled out for you, but no point is ever reached. Jackson performs beautifully, along with stellar performances from Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis as his parents, but the outlandishness of the plot feels divorced from reality and the film.
Jackson proudly proclaims he's a drug addict like a court jester dancing before the throne.
It's a comical "issue" film that Lee has made many times over; it's not essential viewing, especially when you consider his filmography or even the wider canon of great black films.
Yet despite the fact that it virtually crumbles under the weight of its own embarrassing datedness, some of the themes still resonate.
The movie also came two years after Denzel Washington reportedly had scenes removed from that address the fear from black women that black men will abandon them for lighter-skinned black woman before ultimately abandoning them for white women altogether, and, conversely, there are scenes from the Italian-American characters where both the n-word and the word (a ridiculous slur that I find hilarious in the Year of Our Lord 2016) are tossed around laissez-faire.The conceit of this film is such that two people are caught in the overreactions of their environments. Part of the problem is that the central relationship of ; if this star-crossed relationship is doomed, shouldn’t Flipper and Angie behave like two young lovers who can’t keep their hands off each other? Lines like "Most [black men] are homos, drug addicts, or in jail" are so jaw-droppingly hilarious you can't believe these are real characters.In it would've been a movie we've seen before — the genius musician ruined by drugs.This time it could be organic to the story." But there's nothing truly organic about it. These are two people who end up fucking and dating because of an affair at the office, which is a tale as old as time.Flipper and Angie are thrown together because Angie's father beats her like Spike Lee has only ever seen in them who have pushed them into each other’s arms. And sure, there are some decent attempts at real conversations about colorism and interracial dating among black women and Italian men, but it all feels sort of like sifting through Twitter arguments. The lazily shoehorned story line about drug addiction — starring Samuel L.Lee's main problem, as with , is that the subtext rapidly becomes the text. Jackson (with a guest appearance by Halle Berry, in her first film role, as a junkie who wants to suck Flipper's dick for two dollars) — makes absolutely no sense.