Milkshake Review

Patrick Betti

2/3/12

Sundance

Milkshake

Director: David Andalman

Writers: David Andalman, Mariko Munro    

              In Milkshake a teenage boy sees his life change and his dreams come true as he becomes more popular and accepted with the cool kids in his school, although in the process he struggles to maintain his relationships with some of his best friends from his childhood. The character essentially has good intentions at heart and wants the best for his friends, but he sometimes has unrealistic expectations of his own talents and importance that get in the way of him viewing his situation logically.

    The film uses a lot of humor to tell this coming-of-age story in a sort of tongue-in-cheek way, the style of humor it uses makes it stand out as an independent comedy. One example of this sort of tongue-in-cheek humor is that the main character is Al Jolson’s great-great grandson, yet he strives above all else to fit in with the African-American community. The character makes politically incorrect stereotypes about black people in ridiculous ways and shows a total insensitivity towards the issues of race, but in a generally harmless and innocent way. The movie essentially pokes fun at some of the racial taboos that we have in America and talks about how influential black culture has been on youth, especially in the 90’s when the movie takes place. The character listens to Tupac and idolizes him, yet idolizes him for all of the wrong reasons such as his violence against police. The movie really takes an honest look at the myth of black culture on America, but its brutal honesty means it makes risky jokes that put it out of the mainstream category. I would rate this movie as an 8 on a scale of how independent it is.

    The film talks mostly about the myth of black culture in America. The film basically takes a rarely seen honest look at the reasons behind the myth and the somewhat politically incorrect reasons this myth exists among white people. It shows how the existence of rap culture and other largely black art forms have grown to include some less than flattering views of black people. For example the character worships many negative aspects of the culture and thinks highly of it for comically misguided reasons. It is implied in the movie that the culture he worships has many positive aspects and the many artists he finds fascinating actually have contributed significantly to their art form and social awareness. The character never fully realizes why his views on the matter are somewhat misguided, and at the end he is left wondering why his whole philosophy has come into question by his friends and family. This leaves it up to the viewer to think about why he was wrong and the whole myth of black culture in America.

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