film

Review: I’m Through with White Girls

I’m Through with White Girls (2007)
Anthony Montgomery, Lia Johnson, Ryan Alosio, Lisa Brenner, Lynn Chen. Written by Courney Lilly. Directed by Jennifer Sharp.

Jay is a young comic book artist with a history of dating white women. He is immature in relationships, and his recurrent break-up method is to leave an apologetic letter to his girlfriend and sneak out the door while she sleeps. After one of these breakups, he swears he’s done with white girls, who he insists only date him because they’ve fetishized black men according to black-man stereotypes.

Yet he’s certain the reason he dates white women is that black women have some weird, media-inspired ideal of the strong, independent black man, an ideal he can’t live up to either.

I don’t know which movie did it first, but we are treated to that clichéd sequence of rotating dates where a Viewmaster-like parade of romantic candidates across a restaurant table each says something strange, frightening, or otherwise disqualifying. One of them is an Asian woman (played by Lynn Chen, the only reason I sought this movie), and the cliché gets a little more interesting here. We see her across the table as with the others, but in fetishized Asian woman stereotypes as Jay cycles her through his ideas of geisha women and anime girls.

Jay meets Catherine, a young up-and-coming writer whose new book is getting lots of buzz from all the good places, and we’re treated to the usual romantic comedy plot. There are some very thoughtful, creative moments as this film tries to step through some fresh territory about relationships and race, and this might have been an excellent film if the supporting characters were not so obnoxious or unbelievable. I admit it’s nice to see Johnny Brown (Nathan Bookman from Good Times) and Alaina Reed Hall (Olivia from Sesame Street) on a movie screen in 2007, but it’s not enough to make up for some bad decisions with plot and character.

I’m Through with White Girls is not a waste of time, but it feels like a wasted opportunity to do something great.

5/10
55/100

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