Picks and Pans Review: Baby Boy
Writer-director John Singleton's new movie states its thesis at the very start. Black men, a voice-over tells us, are kept in a state of perpetual immaturity by society. The visual image, while dreamlike, is even more explicit: A man, fully grown and naked, lies curled in a giant womb. He screams, bubbles streaming from his mouth, and awakens to his daily existence. An unemployed father of two, 20-year-old Jody still lives with his mother in crime-plagued South Central L.A.
Baby Boy is about Jody's struggle to break away from the mother, whose crushingly powerful new lover is moving in, and take care of his again-pregnant girlfriend. There's not much new here dramatically, but the cast-including Gibson, a singer-model-veejay as Jody, and Rhames as the mother's boyfriend—has a strong pulse. Everyone gets a loud, passionate opportunity to hash over Jody's issues. (R)
Bottom Line: Big performances Leah Rozen is on vacation.