Add this to the list of things that I was oblivious to in the past, but am becoming painfully aware of now . . .
I absolutely LOVED this movie when it first came out. From the amazing, Lorraine-esque skirt that she wears in the opening scene, to the fabulous blues club scene, to my favorite line ever, “Don’t F$#% with the babysitter!“, it has always been a favorite of mine.
But in watching it (okay, I confess, twice in the last couple of weeks), I am now looking at it afresh, and seeing a cautionary tale of what happens when “civilized” suburban kids venture out into the big, bad city . . . where they finally end up seeing more black folks in one night than they’ve probably seen in their entire lifetime in suburban paradise . . .
And although one of the “good” bad guys is black, and (as people in the comments responding to this excellent dissection of the film’s racism point out) the head of the car theft ring is actually a white man (which I think only reinforces my argument, because after all, who is it that is doing the bulk of the work, and who is most benefiting from it?), I still can see now that this movie perpetuated assumptions and stereotypes that my 17-year-old self wouldn’t have known to have questioned.
But I’m not ready to talk about Tyler Perry just yet, okay?!