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Friday, May 14, 1999

Walter Mitty in the 'hood

Movie: Trippin'

Posted on Fri, May 14, 1999 at 4:00 AM

***
Trippin'
Length: 1 hour, 32 minutes
Studio: October Films
Website: http://www.roguepictures.com/trippin/index.html
Release Date: 1999-05-12
Cast: Deon Richmond, Donald Adeosun Faison, Maia Campbell, Guy Torry
Director: David Hubbard
Screenwriter: Gary Hardwick
WorkNameSort: Trippin'
Our Rating: 3.00

As the credits roll into oblivion, James Thurber's ghost puts out his cigarette. There's another movie he could've written! It's too late for negotiations now. Besides, his lawyer's dead and these guys -- David Raynr, the director, and his screenwriter, Gary Hardwick, who took less than two weeks to write the script (yeah, right!) -- are not willing to give him any credit. Poppycock! As if he needs the credit. As if he's not in every fucking anthology anyway!

"Thurber portrayed the folly and weakness of insignificant men and women troubled by the dilemmas always lurking beneath the drab surface of their lives." Who writes this crap, anyway? Some lapsed academic, some poor sod in need of a job.

"'Quiet, man!' said Mitty, in a low, cool voice. He sprang to the machine, which was now going pocketa-pocketa-queep-pocketa-queep. 'Give me a fountain pen!' he snapped. Somebody handed him a fountain pen. He pulled a faulty piston out of the machine and inserted the pen in its place. 'That will hold for 10 minutes,' he said. 'Get on with the operation.'"

That's what "Trippin'" is all about: daydreaming. Greg Reed (Deon Richmond) has money, fame, success and lots of women -- when he's daydreaming, that is.

Once he actually fancied himself a poet reading before the whole high school. He read his latest poem, "Don't be fucking with my shit!" with so much sentiment that Mr. Shapic, the English teacher, burst into tears! But that's all in Greg's mind.

Like Thurber's Walter Mitty, Greg goes through life with his eyes closed. In reality, he's dazed and confused and everybody's on his case: his parents, his teachers ... They just won't give 'im a break with this college shit! As if the guys in the 'hood ever made it to college! No, my brothers, they all went to jail and now they're driving around in black limos and expensive suits.

So it's not like Greg has a choice -- unless he wakes up and forgets about his wondrous exploits, and lets go of the Mitty syndrome, and gives James Thurber's ghost a rest.

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