G

G is a modern interpretation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, The Great Gatsby. I read Gatsby in high school and remember liking it…but ask me if I can recite a word of it today.

Bearing this in mind, I’m not sure how true G is to its source material, so I will evaluate it on its own merits. The basic plot: Blair Underwood (Set it Off, LAX, L.A. Law) and Chenoa Maxwell (Hav Plenty, Girlfriends) star as Chip and Sky Hightower, a handsome black couple vacationing in the Hamptons. Chip is an inattentive philanderer who puts his wife on a pedestal. He discourages Sky’s use of profanity, saying that she’s too beautiful to use such language. Huh? Sky’s cousin Tracy (Andre Royo of Shaft and The Wire), a writer, is in the Hamptons for a visit, and to interview Summer G (Richard T. Jones of The Wood and Kiss the Girls), a successful rapper and record company CEO. Summer has recently purchased a vacation home near the Hightowers. Here’s the kicker/conflict: Summer and Sky go back like babies and pacifiers. Sky used to be Summer’s girl back in college, before she was “stolen” by Chip. That’s the basic gist of the movie.

This movie is difficult to describe…overall I enjoyed it, but I also could not ignore little implausible details and silly side stories that yielded no fulfilling payoff. Certain things happened as a matter of convenience to move the story along, which detracted from the movie. Director Chris Scott Cherot (Hav Plenty) also relies on the audience’s common sense instead of taking the time to reveal and explore important details. I’m not sure what the budget was for this movie, but I read on its website that they shot it in a few weeks. Perhaps haste is the reason for some of the contrived situations in the movie. Regarding the players, Blair Underwood is always very capable and he did not disappoint. I haven’t seen him play a snake since Just Cause with Sean Connery, and he was quite loathsome in G. Chenoa Maxwell was okay…some things she did well (subtle facial tics and expression changes) and some things not so well (cutesy delivery of questionable dialogue). Richard T. Jones was alluring as Summer and was the perfect contrast to Underwood. Andre Royo did a fine job as well. He usually functions as a character actor but showed some talent here. G is very slick and polished, clean and nice to look at it with its attractive cast and inviting setting, but I was left wanting more. I felt like the movie had so much untapped potential. Why did Sky vacillate so much between Chip and Summer? Especially when Chip was such a dog? Yes, we know it’s difficult to just walk out on a marriage, but I needed to see more of a basis for Sky’s inconsistent behavior. I’d like to see Cherot get more opportunities as a writer and director, and hopefully he will improve

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