Talkin' Dirty After Dark (DVD)
A talented ensemble of notable and up-and-coming comics star in thishilarious film about a night in the life of a comedy club deep in theheart of South Central Los Angeles. Martin Lawrence, in his firststarring role, plays Terry, a down on his luck comedian who simply wantsto earn $67 to pay his phone bill.
An early entry in the '90s trend of African American comedies, Talkin' Dirty After Dark
plays like a prototype of Friday
, and other films that followed its example. It's not as good as those other comedies, but it's got the same hip-hop energy that favors character and big laughs over any meaningful plot. It's also got Martin Lawrence, then on the verge of stardom, joining a stellar cast of comic talent recruited from the Def Comedy Jam
TV specials that were popular at the time. Lawrence plays an aspiring stand-up comedian (much like himself) who's coping with flat material and lusty come-ons from the wife of Dukie (John Witherspoon), the owner of the L.A. club where comics convene to polish their act, onstage and off. Writer-director Topper Carew (who produced Lawrence's TV series Martin
) likes his humor raw and sexy (hence the title), and this easygoing comedy owes a lot to Richard Pryor, whose legacy looms large over the raucous proceedings. --Jeff Shannon