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Great movie but could've done without the musical numbers
on January 9, 2013
So to comment on the movie itself: It was a great movie! I'm glad I finally saw it (watched the Amazon on Demand rental). The characters are natural and the entire thing feels real, not contrived. You can tell the cast and crew put their work in trying to create a real college experience on-screen. And as a 2008 graduate of Spelman, I enjoyed seeing the recognizable campus locations filmed in the earlier parts of the movie :) The musical numbers were just weird, though; with the exception of Tisha Campbell's number and the scene at the bathing suit party, they seemed out of place and kind of wacky. Interesting, definitely, but I wasn't expecting them.
I will say this. When I was in high school all everyone could talk about was School Daze and how they couldn't wait to go to college and pledge partially because of what they saw here. I did go to an HBCU in the mid-2000s, but some of the experiences in the movie made me go "huh". I know that Lee's Morehouse experience happened in the mid-to-late 70s, and this movie was filmed in the late 80s, so I think a lot of things at HBCUs and with Greeks in particular were different - especially given that pledging was above-ground then and is mostly underground now. You don't see a line of Pyramids or Sphinxmen all dressed alike in public anymore. But more importantly, I don't feel like my HBCU experience (Morehouse-Spelman-Clark Atlanta community) had the same timbre that Lee's maybe did in the 70s or that was portrayed here in the 80s - this sort of disjointed, fractured black community. I had Greek friends even though I'm not Greek; colorism wasn't as much of an issue; and pretty much everyone on campus was involved in the community and political activism in some way. So I only saw parts of my experience reflected here - the crazy themed homecoming party, the homecoming game (and losing badly).
Still great movie!