Starring: Tessa Thompson, Tyler James Williams, Dennis Haysbert, Brandon Bell, Teyonah Parris
Director: Justin Simien
Running time: 108mins
Cert: R

Dear White People has had an interesting journey  from across the pond after its debut at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, but, after a long battle between production bodies and the BFI, Dear White People has now been granted distribution in the UK and will be released in a number of cinemas across the country. I attended the UK premiere at the Prince Charles Cinema on Wednesday.

Dear White People  is a satirical comedy-drama that focuses on the intertwining lives of four African-American students at the prestigious and predominantly white, Winchester University.
Here, we meet the protagonist of the film, Sam White (Tessa Thompson); the socially and culturally conscious, rebellious and highly intelligent mixed-race girl who fights against the apparent racism at Winchester. She has a radio show entitled Dear White People where she attempts to highlight all the ways in which they don’t understand the culture of black people and the struggles they go through. She has self published a book entitled Ebony and Ivy which dictates certain levels of blackness, and all while having a secret affair with her white class tutor!

DWP is funny, thought provoking and eye opening to the various stereotypes that are not only given by other races but given to ourselves.

Within the movie we meet the Rebel (Thompson), who is afro-centric and pro black despite being “only half black” and seems to demonstrate the need to over compensate for this. There is the Poster Child (Bell), who’s father pressures him to overachieve so not to fit into stereotypes that whites may give him. The fact that a “black man trying to fit in the white mans world” IS in fact a stereotype, doesnt seem to bother the father. The Token black kid (Williams) who is just around to prove a social group have an ethnic presence and the Diva (Parris); the dark skin girl with the weave and blue contact lenses who only dates white guys to escape her less than respectable upbringing.

All of these characters can ring true in various social settings and i admittedly saw elements of myself in some of them. However, the film does highlight many other truths of black and white culture and what we deem acceptable behind closed doors. Do White people harbor the need to call us niggers at any given moment if they see a group of black people doing something “black”? I would like to think not, but DWP brings new light and humour (so not to be too controversial) to the idea white people inherently look down on black people but then want to relish in all things black, except to actually be it.

The climax of the film, in which a “black face” party begins on campus, though funny to an extent of how other cultures see us; its testament to that same fact. Black culture is ghetto culture and thats how they view us. The question stands however, that if these are the only things we portray or what is put out in the media, how do we expect other cultures to think/look differently at us?

Of course for any race to turn up to a black face party covered in shoe polish or nutella and calling themselves Shaniqua is a derogative in any sense but understand there is a line between disrespecting black culture and being Miley Cyrus. She did not come up with Twerking and shes not even doing it right!

Either way, this review has turned into more of a rant lol but it still stands that Dear White People is provocative and insightful in its title and content and its depiction of racism in America. Of all places in the world, it seems to be most rife in the states but do not attempt to be fooled that as Brits we are not fighting the same battles. Its just perhaps not showcased and exploited as violently and graphically as police brutality and blatant waving of Confederate flags.

Dear White People is out now!



Any movie with a leading cast of hot black men you know is always going to get my vote!  When this is accompanied by a leading female cast of beautiful black women however, I’m always on board.

Before I begin I would like to point out that as much as I love black films, urban films; whatever is politically correct these days; I’m not a fan of every black film and don’t think it has to be watched and is immediately good just because it has black people in it. Think Like A Man, I am happy to say is the exception. I was excited about it; I watched it and it delivered. It isn’t the greatest film ever made obviously but it was entertaining and in some ways, even educational!

If you are one of those people, namely British who haven’t read the book, Think Like A Man is based on the Steve Harvey book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man. This book determines to teach women how to be better women to get better men while playing them at their own game. I told myself I was going to read the book before I saw the movie but when that didn’t happen the film became the window into what the book was about. Now, for the purpose of this film review, I’m not going to go into the ideologies and out right sexism and chauvinism that I think is present in the movie but instead focus on the film at hand. All of that will be an entirely new post!

Now, from the get go Kevin Hart delivers. He acts as the comical narrator throughout the film, introducing the characters and their situations and continues to give full hearted comedy throughout. The depiction of the “Mama’s Boy”, “Dreamer”, “Player” “Happily Married Guy”, “Happily Divorced Guy” and “Non-Committer” are all played well by the male cast and will have you literally laughing out loud (no lol). You can’t help but watch and think that you have met one if not all of these men in your lifetime. The movie is relatable and that is always a good thing. Being able to see yourself and your situations on screen undoubtedly helps you to love it. Yes, it is slightly sensationalised in the sense that all the men are hot and all the women are fine and they all have great jobs etc. but that, I think is something that comes with African American films. They get so caught up in wanting to portray positive black people that it gets in some ways, completely unbelievable. Not to say then, that it’s not nice to see.

One thing you always notice about films is the time and I felt that this was quite long. Not because in most instances it was boring but because you wanted to see how the various situations were going to pan out and it took a while to get there. Where long films get boring however is that it either takes too long to get the point so you’re sat wondering when it will get good, or all the good stuff happens at the beginning then you’re left wondering why is the rest of the film even there. With this film, it is well proportioned in terms of jokes, seriousness and “action” though these particular segments took a bit longer than necessary. For example, the first courtship of each of the couples drags on a bit when they could have fit a lot more things in, then the following dates seem to be all squashed together in a montage.

I think my only major complaint about the movie is the underlining notion that women are to blame for the situations they put themselves in. I’m not saying this is true or untrue but it seemed a bit of an extreme message to portray in the movie. This point aside there were a few things that as I mentioned before were relatable and might actually help the ladies to figure out the real deal with their various relationships!

Overall, Think Like A Man was an enjoyable film that provided laughs and “awws” in all the right places. The Morris Chestnut cameo was also a well added addition if I do say so myself!