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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 27.78%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 5.56%

1 review, 12 user ratings

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Wood, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"Could they have thought of a worse title?"
3 stars

A non-unpleasant time-filler (how's THAT for an endorsement?) that bends over backwards to say "See? Look! Not all movies about African-Americans have guns and drugs in them? Look how open-minded we film executives are!" It's hard to dislike the movie, although it absolutely Xeroxes many scenes from other, better films.

OK, we're making what we like to call a "coming-of-age" comedy. What that means is we are required to use the "notebook over the unwelcome erection in class" scene, the "shy guy stands up to the bully after sweating out the last few minutes of school" scene, the "horny morons bet over who can get 'the booty' first" scene, and since it IS about young black men, we have to include the "boys get oppressed by cops for no real reason" scene. It's scary that certain scenes are now absolutely required if you're making a film about teenagers, yet I don't think I've ever had a visible erection in school, ever.

But, all in all, The Wood succeeds mostly. Yes, we've seen a lot of this before, but the shift in perspective helps a lot. The performances are quite good, especially by the three leads, Omar Epps, Taye Diggs, and Richard T. Jones. Many of the laughs come from the interplay and heated conversations of these characters. Even though you've seen a lot of these scenes in other teen-oriented movies, they're mainly presented in a fresh light here.

Beginning at the impending wedding of one of the trio, Omar Epps starts talking to the audience, then we flash back periodically to see scenes from other "teen" comedies with different (albeit funny) young actors. The film shifts back and forth, focusing on how these guys became friends, the girls they tried to outright use, and some really bad clothes.

What's commendable about The Wood is the way it presents three young men who clearly love each other, albeit not the way you perverts might suspect, given the title. It may indeed remind a lot of men of the way they behave with their friends: On the surface, it's the macho bullshit, bravado, dick bragging, bets over sex, etc., but underneath there is a loyalty and a fierce devotion to one another.....and dick bragging and bets over sex.

It's worthy of a recommendation, because it is quite funny, a little touching, and it does touch briefly on a little-known psychological condition that afflicts teenage boys only: NES (Notebook-erection syndrome).

One stupid blurb I saw in the newspaper stated that The Wood is a "chick's movie for guys." Well, since they try real hard to make all these men a little TOO sweet and handsome and perfect, I say it's a "guy's movie for chicks". Unrealistic, but pretty entertaining.

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originally posted: 07/20/99 10:23:26
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User Comments

2/04/08 Chris A good coming of age, buddy movie 4 stars
11/24/04 Denise D. Woodfolk It's a great portrayal "coming of age" 5 stars
5/18/04 jamar I like it so much. 5 stars
9/04/01 Butterbean Funny 4 stars
7/07/01 Dick David Definite Greenlight, way to go Boyd! 5 stars
5/04/01 TheDoctor This movie felt like they put a mirror up to my life and filmed it. 5 stars
3/19/01 Mart Dawg All you fucking critics are so fucking closed minded, stop going so deep into movies 4 stars
4/24/00 Ryan hard to respect these movies.... CRAP!!!! 1 stars
8/17/99 Obi Wan A good film worth had it's moments. 4 stars
7/22/99 Mika This movie is for those who grew up with these experiences as Black children of the 80's. 5 stars
7/21/99 Daddy Rich A great comedy. Wonderful movie about friendship 5 stars
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  16-Jul-1999 (R)



Directed by
  Todd Boyd

Written by
  Rick Famuyiwa

  Jamie Foxx
  Omar Epps
  Richard T. Jones
  Taye Diggs
  Sean Nelson
  Malinda Williams

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