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"As we continue to be stifled by the almost unbearable, oppressive air of political correctness by the people who constantly complain about oppression, there is no doubt in my mind that Soul Man could not be made today.
For centuries, people have been using comedy as a way to explore issues that would be seen as didactic if addressed with a straight face. Literature giants like Voltaire used comedy to address social issues, with his story Candide being one of the funniest things I've ever read. Soul Man addresses racial issues in America; but because it's done with humor instead of drama, people see it as "making fun of" minorities rather than "helping" minorities.
Soul Man is a humorous film trying to help those who obviously have no sense of humor. A spoiled, rich white kid takes a lot of tanning pills, gets a jheri curl, and steals a scholarship meant for a black Harvard applicant because his father decided to stop supporting him. He finds out later he stole the scholarship from a woman (Rae Dawn Chong) who deserved it ten times more than he. C Thomas Howell grows and becomes more sensitive to black issues and blacks in general as he spends this brief period as a black man and falls in love with a black woman. He gains character and wisdom. And as he told his professor, played by James Earl Jones, he will never know what it's like to be black, because no matter how bad it got, he could always get out.
It doesn't make fun of blacks. It makes fun of whites who have their own closed-minded impressions. The stereotypical scenes in the movie come from the ignorance of the white characters, not the ignorance of the moviemakers.
Even though C. Thomas Howell's career unfairly suffered because of this BOLD movie, he did meet and end up marrying Rae Dawn Chong. "
Jason Voorhees | Sacramento, CA | 05/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a pure classic. Comedy gold. Everyone is at the top of their game in it, James Earl Jones C. Thomas Howell, Rae Dawn Chong, Arye Gross, a pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus. The commentary by Steve Miner and C. Thomas Howell is cool and informative. They are bewildered at all the controversy this film caused, and so am I. Because in the 80's, I never heard any controversy about this film, because I was a kid, enjoying it. Anyone that says this film is racist is ignorant, or has no sense of humor. I wager both. This film pokes fun at stereotypes. Have fun with it. The more you make it taboo, the greater the backlash will be. Like I said, this is a classic. The 80's was the best decade ever."
My Favorite Movie In The Whole World!
Lois E. Olson | 10/05/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First off let me say this, I'm black and I have never been offended by Soul Man though a lot of people have. I know when the film came out there were protesters and a lot of media hassles because some felt it was racist. It wasn't racist or offensive to me and Soul Man has always been my favorite movie. I thought it was funny and I would love to see it re-done these days. I believe it would be even funnier. I don't believe the filmmakers put black people down by having C. Thomas Howell pretend to be black. Sure he said some ignorant things and the film made references to how black people talk and act, but it was harmless and only to prove a point. People know no one acts as dumb as he did, being black or white. I never understood why some people cause trouble where there is none. This is a good, wholesome movie. I'm a lot more offended by the trash that's in the movie these days than anything I saw in Soul Man. I loved the movie and developed a huge crush on C. Thomas Howell when I was a kid because of this film. And I thought he looked great black! I wish his future roles had been so entertaining. This is his best work. The basketball scene and " Shaft " scene are my favorites. I wished they would have done a scene with Mark and Sara going to a danceclub. That would have been hilarious and fun to see how he handled things. If you like good clean fun, this is for you! The ultimate buddy movie and one of the best date movies ever. No matter what year it is."
Very good work
Deondrick Woodard | 07/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i was watching vh1 and saw a clip of this movie i rented it the next day ever since i been hooked you know this show the world how people really think i was nine years old when this movie come out i give c.thomas howell 5 stars four trying to be black it was 1986 and you know what things will never be the same again i watch this movie and i feel good al over it has so many inspirational parts i wish we could go back to the eighties so many good movies to be made. it makes you feel so warm .its not at all racist we need more movies like this today its a real movie not fake.i hate people that always saw things are racist and thomas howell you the man good job bro"
Colorblind when it comes to Laughter!!!!!
Lois E. Olson | Michigan | 04/21/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I like this movie. I tell you why. As first you think, wow that is so uncool and very mean spirited way to get a scholar. But at the end of the movie, you see that there was a "moral and a reflection of the cultures." Even though this movie wasn't a true story, we get to see the both sides of the spectrum. I thought this movie has some great parts. Like picking Thomas to be in the basketball team because they thought he was good. The Roll Call of "Right On!" Classic! When he went to the Kitchen without the Mask, "Look'n good momma, look'n good!" And it was his mother?!?!?! "I'm taking Law..." Friend said, "I thought you were taken?" "That was before I knew the professor was a Brutha!" I thought for James Earl Jones to take his role, I thought it was a cool thing for him to do. Would of thought he would be uptight for this. I would of thought for sure he would of thought the script is overboard and racist. Another classic part, when he (James) said, "Next time here's my phone number, if you go to jail again call me, I will bring your books!!" Come on, classic. It had a love story feel to it, that sometimes like Thomas said, "I never expected to fall in love with her." I got so use to seeing Thomas with the color pill change treatment that when at the end, I was like "Oh, that is what he looks like." But one think that was an eye opener was those two white kids with those racist jokes (realist though that there's some that do that) in the end got Karma!!! Reminds me of "White Chicks" from the Wayans, that was a good movie, and we see how white chicks act and "yes" like this movie, there's exaggeration, but all for the laughs of how we see things. I like this movie. A very classic comedy! "