Bringing Down the House: Retro-Racism
Sometimes at night, you stumble upon a movie from your past, one you saw when you were a kid, which at the time you didn’t understand. Mostly these movies are comedy, it's the subversive elements that as kids we don't get. It goes over our heads, but man do we love the prat falls.
I’ll always remember loving Cartman as a kid, but never understanding a single thing that went on in South Park besides Kenny’s pension for dying. Tonight, I’ve stumbled upon Bringing Down the House (2003), my fake aunt took me to it, I was 13.
Nine years later, it’s 1:15 in the morning on September 7th and I’m watching it in amazement at two things:
1. How utterly blatant and unforgivably racist this is
2. How much I’ve tweeted about this movie. (These tweets are important because no one retweets me and no one reads my tweets and yet I still sent them, speaking of which follow me: FOLLOW ME)
Specific points of cringing racism, first let me point out, this was hilarious in 2003 (different times):
Martin as a specific point of contention between the characters, Martin keeps asking why Latifah speaks in the manner she does, when she is perfectly capable of speaking proper English. You see cause
“Listen sister, go back to the whole jungle fever thing.” –Evil white corporate slave (I realize using slave here is wrong), Latifah proceeds to punch him in the face.
Large black woman and skinny white “bitch” fight in a lockerroom, large black woman ends up winning the fight by hanging the white girl on a hook.
“Excuse me, homeboys.” Said in the whitetest voice possible, immediately before donning a beanie and a XXXXXL jersey. Go Steve Martin. Go.
Everything Eugene Levy says is racist, just by him saying it.
Martin is now dancing with an even larger black woman than Latifah, a skinny white girl comes along and almost gives him an orgasm.
This is made in Pre- The Help years, but the same principle, Queen Latifah puts in constipation medicine into Steve Martin’s food when she is subjected to an extraordinary amount of racism
“The cool points are out the window and she’s got me all twisted up in the game.” –Eugene Levy expressing his love for Latifah.
Old white women singing slave spiritual about selling slaves, she says “Massa.”
Latifah’s boyfriend dresses up like a black woman during a crime, which is the reason Latifah is in jail in the first place. You see, in a race movie, you always have to have black guys always dress up like women, ask Eddie Murphy, the Wayans brothers, Tyler Perry, Martin Lawrence, and Tyler Perry.
Eugene Levy wants to spank Latifah.
Martin in most black woman voice ever, “You can kiss my natural black ass.”
These points could go on forever, but I need to make a point eventually.
I'm still trying to figure out who this movie was made for, white people or black people. I'm thinking white people because black people never look dumb in this movie, I believe the film term is called the "magical negro" who helps white people find their better selves, while asking for little in return. As white people, I'm assuming, just assuming, we are supposed to learn that black people are people too. In 2003, we didn't know this, luckily it's 2012 and we have come to see people of color as fully realized human beings.
If you’re going to make a movie about race, make sure it stands up in its take on race 9 years later. There’s nothing better than a dated racist movie. In 2003, let me say this, I wasn’t a bigger follower in politics, but I’m pretty sure we weren’t expecting to have a half black president . But still this was probably very racist even back then, and that’s exactly why I love it, it's not self-aware. This movie could only be made more racist if it added an apostrophe “Bringin’ Down the House” although it could be “His-ouse”
The Hollywood Defender