Sept 99: An Invited Guest

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by Kelly Glover
Written by: Timothy Wayne Folsome
Directed by: Timothy Wayne Folsome
Produced by: Kevin D. Hightower
Dir. of Photography: Wayne Sells
Editor: Edward Abroms
Cast: Mehki Phifer, Mari Morrow, Malinda Williams, Mel Jackson, Wanya Morris

Fame and fortune are Howie's main concern and he's developing the screenplay that will bring him both. Unfortunately, his supportive friends and hopelessly devoted wife are secondary. It's not until Howie's doorbell rings one afternoon that you learn just how much they are to him.

SYNOPSIS

From the beginning, Kim Fields' cameo appearance and Jay-Z's "Hard Knock Life" set the upbeat pace for this surprisingly wicked flick.

It's Howie & Debbie's wedding anniversary and although Debbie greets her husband with a naked flash, he can't be bothered. His screenplay needs attention! While revamping the script with his writing partners Moe & Tre', the doorbell rings and Silk, a male god of a stranger is allowed into their home and into their lives. Silk is drawn to Debbie's neediness and much to her best friend Tammy's dismay, a well-timed kitchen counter experience makes Debbie find Silk hard to resist.

Debbie's affections begin to fade when she discovers that the Don Juan guest in her home is actually an escaped convict. Because she believes in her feminine wiles and that her husband's dedication to survival will prevent any violent outbursts, Debbie isn't very concerned about the situation. But when the bodies begin piling up, she discovers that Silk might not be the "Stranger" she thought. She learns that some people will do the unthinkable for their chance in the spotlight.

THESPIANS

As if you didn't realize his seductive abilities in "The Boy Is Mine" video, as Silk, Mekhi Phifer gives new meaning to the word. He starts out as a callous street thug, but transforms into every woman's dream stranger. He looks damn good in a tank top, gives the type of foot massages all men should learn, and seduces women within earshot of their spouses. For the men in the audience, his one-liners and no-nonsense negotiation skills will definitely put that grin of approval on your face.

Remember when Mel Jackson approached Mekhi Phifer in Soul Food? Well, as Howie, Mel Jackson again superbly portrays another great character you'll love to hate. He needs a haircut; he's selfish, ruthless, and driven, to a fault. But, he does have a point.

Mari Morrow (Debbie) is the ultimate devoted wife. She's never been involved with another man and although she has put her ultimate dreams aside and hasn't slept with her husband in over a month, she's still committed to the idea of the perfect marriage. When the truth is unveiled, Marrow coolly shows how to turn that unyielding devotion into the ultimate plan for revenge.

Debbie's unattached best friend Tammy wants to be an actress. As Tammy, Malinda Williams (The Wood, High School High, Panther) gives a notable performance that exemplifies why some husbands hate their wives' best friends. Tammy offers unsolicited and inappropriate advice, and to top it off, she can't act. Or so they thought.

Moe (Wanya Morris) and Tre' (William C. Stephens) are very funny as Howie's best friends and co-writers. If Tre' would just tone down his obvious affinity for men and Moe would stop giving Howie marital advice, they would finish the script and split the $3 million Howie has promised them. Unless, of course, something else interrupts them.

CRITIQUE

When I glanced at the cast of characters before entering the theater I thought I was about to watch the black "Feel good movie of the year!" I unknowingly sat in front of men involved with the project and listened as they commented on the large audience turn out. (Yawn) However by the end of the first scene, my expectations changed and I wanted to turn around and "shhh" them. We met Debbie's character lounging in her big house and again I thought "feel good movie...(sigh)" and I wanted to hear more audience conversation behind me. Because although Howie seemed a bit distant towards his wife, I knew things would work out because hey, that's how "these" movies always end. Right? Uh, no. From the time that doorbell rings, you don't know what to expect. Are Tre', Moe and Howie really trying to sell that script? Is Silk going to actually hit on Debbie in front of her husband? Can they show Silk lick his lips again? This movie has a very close knit cast with lots of vital character interaction. It's full of great one-liners and facial expressions and it keeps the audience involved every step of the way. Ok, so some of the scenes had too much dialogue making them unnecessarily long and there's only so much blood you want to see in a non-horror flick. Still, when the truth behind the Invited Guest's arrival is revealed, I think you'll leave the theater very satisfied.

 

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