From 1986’s “Soul Man” to last month’s “Soul Plane,” racial stereotypes have been the backbone of comedies good and bad. Makeup-induced transformations are nothing new, either, whether in 1964’s “Black Like Me” or Murphy’s phlegmy turn as an old Jewish man in 1988’s “Coming To America.”
To include it in a list of comedy movies denigrates what Griffith did and the sacrifices he made to experience the south as a black man–ultimately, his treatments to darken his skin might have contributed to his death later.
Ah, the beauty of blogging: I can focus on a throw-away line with an intense lens to show its flaws. It’s just a throwaway line, but much of what people retain from reviews and other articles are the throwaway lines, which often Gestalt into an incomplete and inaccurate picture.