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Brown Sugar
Brown Sugar
Actors: Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Genres: Comedy, Drama
PG-13     2003     1hr 49min

Studio: Tcfhe Release Date: 01/06/2009 Run time: 109 minutes Rating: Pg13

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Movie Details

Actors: Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Creators: Enrique Chediak, Jeff Barnett, Rick Famuyiwa, Magic Johnson, Peter Heller, Trish Hofmann, Michael Elliot
Genres: Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Romantic Comedies, Love & Romance
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 02/11/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2002
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 49min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 3
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Intelligently political film, disguised as love story
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This film gets 4 stars only b/c I don't believe in perfection. But it is all that and more! Brown Sugar is a cleverly entertaining, but immensely political film that will only be fully appreciated by those who were exposed to real hip hop music pre-gangsta rap/Vanilla Ice/MC Hammer cartoon character [stuff] that totally casts African Americans into narrower caricatures while mocking the creative, intelligent art form in its truest nature.All of the other reviews will tell you about the plot. I'll break it down like this. The film is metaphorical. Sid (Sanaa Lathan) and Dre (Taye Diggs) represent real hip hop -- the pure creative stuff with great lyrics & true uplifting substance most mainstream folks don't hear on the radio. They each try to get together with other folks (Boris, Nicole) who represent the misguided mainstream that's partially at fault for the overtly racist, simplistic "rap music" that gets so much hype, radio air play and industry promotion attention today. The marriage between Diggs and Nicole (whatever) doesn't work out in the end b/c (as I understand the point the writers were trying to make) a union between hip hop in its purest, realest form and all that [stuff] that's just designed to sell records to misguided white folks who think that's all there is to the music can't work -- also sending a message that artists shouldn't comprise and sell out just to sell records.That's why Diggs quits his job & that's why he tries to promote Mos Def's character ... one that represents all the real, creative, intelligent and above ...booty shake rappers who don't get big sales and radio airplay.This movie courageously attempts to assail the music industry and mainstream consumers who don't know what real hip hop is -- and thus either buy into all of this violent, misogynistic music that gets promoted b/c they really think that's the extent of the life of African Americans OR people that hate it altogether b/c they think since that's all they hear and see then that's the full extent of hip hop music.The real reason the "Rin and Tin" characters are such laughing stocks is b/c the writers are both mocking the fake music passed off as rap music that sells today in the mainstream AND hoping audiences that see this movie laugh and get the real joke in understanding these characters aren't genuine and thus not real.Hip hop is a culture of expression -- greatly varied in message and creativity.Brown Sugar gives a voice to all those fed up with negative, stereotypical rappers getting promoted to predominantly white audiences who often buy into it -- thus shutting out more creative, true, talented rappers with positive, fun and deeper messages in their lyrics.True hip hop is fun and can articulate every aspect of life like all other genres.Hopefully, just as in the movie's poetic ending with Mos Def getting radio airplay, real hip hop artists will get the promotion they deserve and give the art form a better name among the mainstream that sadly still knows absolutely nothing about its essence.As I see it this movie is creative and clever b/c of its parallel between social commentary on the current state of the music industry, what sells, what's real and what should sell with this love story.Sid and Dre are together b/c "real recognizes real." That's Brown Sugar."
Great movie ONLY if you were exposed to hip-hop, pre-1990
stevey wundar | Houston | 03/01/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is brilliant and entertaining and fresh, but sadly most the the reviewers of this movie TOTALLY MISSED the point.

If you thought this was just another romantic comedy, then of course you'd think this was just a run-of-the-mill, predictable movie.

If you weren't exposed and/or have no concept of what hip hop was before it's crossover period, circa-1990 with FAKE, gimmicky artists with no skill like Vanilla Ice and MC Hammer who put out anything that would sell records, don't watch this movie -- someone else will only have to break it down to you later.

Like the Review (Jeff Shannon) says above (please read carefully), the LEAST entertaining aspect of this movie is Dre & Sidney's relationship.

The gist of the movie is how Dre & Sid's relationship is written as a direct parallel and with commentary on the music business of how hip hop lost its soul when it crossed over and became commercial.

Every scene in the movie is metaphorical and attests to this commentary.

Dre & Sid's friendship as innocent young kids in the 1980s parallels the birth of hip hop and its innocent period.

Dre & Sid's outside (dating) relationships parallel hip hop selling out just enough in the mainstream to survive.

Dre's ultimate marriage to Reece, a fake, money-grubbing, status quo symbol, parallel's hip hop's crossover to the mainstream and going commercial.

Dre & Sid's hookup in the end (pay close attention to the hotel scene dialogue when Sid tells Dre she can't review his CD ... Dre's lines "One moment you say you want me to change and the next you're saying you want me to stay the same...").

That whole scene is metaphorical for the true to life debates music fans have today ... everyone wants hip hop to grow & change, yet those unhappy with the changes (such as overcommercialism & the rise of Southern hip hop) are longing for the "pure days" when rappers with real skills put out great music to represent their intelligence, their skills and their personal experience INSTEAD of puttin' out whatever flava-of-the-month style of music will sell the most (thus, selling out hip hop).

Finally, Dre & Sid's hookup as an official couple on Angie Martinez's Hot97 is like this film's writer's personal commentary that ultimately, hip hop has to return to its roots to move forward (kind of like a Hip Hop Sankofa concept, looking back/understanding the past in order to move forward).

Like I said, if you don't know what hip hop music was pre-1990, you won't understand half of the movie and thus you won't appreciate what the 4 & 5-star reviewers of this movie see in its creativity.

This film was written with a purpose and I hope, despite meager sales, we get more like this one instead of the stereotypical, dumbed-down stuff that Hollwyood keeps pushing."
L. Kelsey | Riverside, CA. United States | 10/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"is "Brown Sugar," the new romantic comedy starring Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan. I loved it. The mix of the love story, where two longtime friends are brought together originally by their love of Hip Hop, who eventually take their relationship to another level, is smart, funny and engaging. Taye and Sanaa are attractive, charming leads who exhibit a chemistry that makes the relationship believeable, making the moviegoer care about the relationship. Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe, Mos Def and Queen Latifah lend terrific support. In the movie, their caring for each other and Hip Hop endures and stands the test of time. And isn't that what true love does. When did I fall in love with Hip Hop? It was 1989 and it was this film that helped me remember how wonderful love and Hip Hop both are. As two "Old School" joints once said, "There Ain't Nothin' Like Hip Hop Music," and "There's Nothin' Better Than Love." One of the best films of the year, with one of the best soundtracks ever! See it and feel good."
Comparing loving someone to being in love with someone
Kyna Schreiber | Dallas, TX USA | 06/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This movie is for those who truly love (underground) hip hop. Otherwise, it would not make a lot of sense or even be worth your time. It is one of my favorite movies. Rap is not hip hop, loving someone is not being in love with them."