“Little Man” has some merit, most of it technical, but the premise is incredibly silly. (Even more so than “White Chicks.”) True, it is “just a movie,” but how could anyone, even for a second, believe that Marlon Wayans is a baby? An otherwise intelligent couple, smoothly portrayed by Shawn Wayans and Kerry Washington, do just that, as do others.
The humor misses the mark repeatedly. For example, the guy-getting-hit-in-crotch thing is done way too many times.
I have interviewed Shawn, Marlon and Keenen Ivory Wayans and liked all three of them. All the more reason for the disappointment in “Little Man.”
Marlon Wayans recently recalled that when he was very young, his imagination developed rapidly because none of his siblings would play with him because he was “so annoying.”
So is this movie.
LAST WEEK I wrote a story called “Things We Are Not Likely to See.” (Examples: O.J. Simpson doing product endorsements, Teena Marie marrying a White man, Detroit becoming an actual tourist attraction.) Reader Joan Hooks-Polk and some of her friends came up with some of their own:
“(A certain former Motown artist) singing on key. Quincy Jones marrying a Black woman. Whoopi Goldberg marrying a Black man. Otis Williams and Dennis Edwards performing together. Mo’Nique doing a Slim Fast commercial. Diana Ross and Chaka Khan without their over-the-top wigs. James Brown doing his famous splits. Robert De Niro marrying a White woman. A couple as bizarre as Bobby Brown and Whitney Houston.”
Speaking of things that are amusing, the other day I was listening to a Supremes album that was recorded in 1963, before the group made it big. Motown had not been having luck getting a major hit on the Supremes. And since Ray Charles was having huge success with his landmark album, “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music,” Motown decided to try it with Diana, Mary and Florence.
The album was called “The Supremes Sing Country, Western and Pop.” Considering the fact that she was from the Brewster Projects and taking into consideration her diva ways (even then), it sounds so funny to hear Diana Ross sing a song that includes the line, “Here on the range is where I belong.”
OFTENTIMES I think advertising agencies and product manufacturers study the record charts carefully every week and then map out their advertising campaigns. (Beyoncé could easily be a millionaire from her L’Oreal ads alone.)
One of the latest to utilize recording stars to sell products is the Clinique cosmetics company. In September, it will launch a global campaign for its Happy fragrance, featuring Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Julie Roberts. These artists will be paid big bucks. Oh well, like the old song says, “Nice work if you can get it.”
Hard to believe but true: In 1985, Millie Jackson and Elton John made a record together, titled “Act of War.” It was not successful. Black radio programmers believed it was too much of a rock record. White radio programmers couldn’t deal with the incongruity of the partnership.
Most people know that Andre Benjamin (Andre 3000) of OutKast stepped into the acting world in the 2005 film “Four Brothers.” Less known is the fact that partner Antwan Patton (Big Boi) owns a real estate company, a record label and also has an energy drink called Kryptonite. OutKast’s movie, “Idlewild,” about a Prohibition-era speakeasy, will be in theaters soon. Academy Award nominee Terrance Howard is in it.
It’s too bad that the once gigantic Motown Record Corporation is now just one of the several labels owned by Universal Music, which has announced plans to launch a “Motown label” in France. Seems that it would have been more appropriate to launch a Motown label in Detroit. It’s bad enough that Detroit never got a Motown Café.
In last week’s column I wrote about a strange medley Aretha Franklin performed on Oprah Winfrey’s show a number of years ago. Due to Franklin’s name being left out, it gave the impression that Oprah sang the songs in honor of C.L. Franklin! Of course, nearly all of the readers knew what it was supposed to say. But even so, sorry about that. (Deadline pressure!)
BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW.... that Prince’s sister, Tyka Nelson, had two records on the national R&B charts in 1988, “Marc Anthony’s Tune” and “L.O.V.E.”
MEMORIES: “Every Beat of My Heart” (Gladys Knight & the Pips), “Let Me Be Your Angel” (Stacy Lattisaw), “Silly Wasn’t I” (Valerie Simpson), “Careless Whisper” (Wham! featuring George Michael), “Follow Your Heart” (the Manhattans), “What Cha Gonna Do With My Lovin’?” (Stephanie Mills), “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes)” (Mint Condition), “Lost in Love” (New Edition), “I’m Doin’ Fine Now” (New York City), “Dance Dance Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (Chic).
BLESSINGS to Frankie Darcell, Clarence Rome, Jay Berry, John Mason, Al Allen, Keena Green, John Conyers, Huel Perkins, Charles Johnson and Ken Bell.
WORDS OF THE WEEK, from author Don Miguel Ruiz: “Telling yourself the truth may hurt, but healing is on the way.”
Let the music play!
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