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Film Review - White Men Can't Jump
Here's a horribly half-baked film you should stay away from. White Men Can't Jump is a boring racist comedy that should have never been made. Its concept is simple, and it could have worked with just a little help from a writer.
Woody Harrelson plays Billy, a one-time college basketball player down on his luck. Billy makes money by hustling black street basketball players who think Whitey can't jump. Billy is good on the court. Off the court, he's an undisciplined mess.
Billy is spending this part of his life with Gloria (Rosie Perez) who seems to do nothing but drink vodka and study for that day when Jeopardy! calls. Other than that, she seems to have no ambition. Gloria is largely in this movie to provide sneak peeks at her breasts and give Billy grief when he loses.
And one day Billy the hustler gets hustled. He's broke and owes money to a loan shark (oh, didn't I tell you this pathetic part of the plot?). Because he's down on his luck, in danger and Gloria isn't having sex with him, we're supposed to feel something for Billy. I say, "Get a real job, you loser!" I just can't feel sorry for a hustler who got a taste of his own medicine.
I realize there are a lot of people who will tell you a black person can't be racist towards a white person. Show me someone who says that, and I'll show you someone who is plain wrong. Racism is as racism does. Perhaps the most realistic part of this film is the racism of black characters towards white characters. The problem is no one points out that it is just as wrong.
All in all, White Men Can't Jump is not worth your time or money. It's a comedy that isn't funny. There is no greater sin. Stay away from this turkey.
Directed by Ron Shelton
Released in 1992
MPAA Rating: R
Reviewed by Mongo