Top Five is a laugh-out-loud love story
Chris Rock’s wickedly funny ‘Top Five’ brings a modern twist to a fairy tale love story. But will this fairy tale come true?
Writer/Director Chris Rock scores a home run. I am a sap for love stories, even R-rated love stories. I don’t like the simple love stories where boy meets girl, they fall in love and live happily ever after. I like the complicated ones where everything isn’t perfect, where everything doesn’t go as planned. Where nothing is what it seems and where you always need to be ready for the next twist and turn. Chris Rock seems to have accomplished that goal with his campy, nothing is out of bounds, no-holds-barred comedy on love. Top Five is one weird, twisted fairy tale.
Packaged in a stupid bear costume, a comedian tries to take on a serious role as a Haitian Revolutionary but no one will take him seriously. With such a weird storyline, I didn’t think it would capture my attention even with its star-studded cast. I was wrong … dead wrong. Underneath all the famous comedian bullshit is a guy, a regular guy who gets typecast as an incredibly stupid, but funny talking bear named Hammy. He achieves the stardom, the money and the fame but he is somehow empty. He finally reaches a point in his life where he’s tired of all the bullshit: the drinking, the endless days on the road. He wants to settle down, get married and take on more challenging, serious acting roles. He wants his life to have meaning.
That would be a normal movie. This is a Chris Rock movie and nothing he does is normal! Shit breaks loose and everything that can happen does happen, all in one day with a little flashback magic added in for good measure. From the moment you sit in your seat ‘til you get up to leave you’ll be laughing. Some of it stupid laughing, some of it laughing that you know you shouldn’t but you do anyway, and the rest is “laughing ‘cause this shit is funny” laughing!
Andre (Rock) tries to promote his movie Uprising by going all over New York City doing appearances. He comes across a New York Times writer, Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), who wants to do a piece, “A Day in the Life of Andre Allen.” He doesn’t want to do this but needs the publicity. No one seems interested in Andre in a serious role, so he is convinced to do this by his manager (Kevin Hart). The rest of the movie follows the crazy, bizarre things that happen when a drunk comedian tries to go sober and legit. But does Andre need to be drunk to be funny?
I liked the movie because it made me laugh a lot! I liked the movie because there were so many layers to it. The movie begs the question why do people get married, or better yet should someone marry another because of obligation? Andre is engaged to the beautiful reality star Erica Long (Gabrielle Union). She’s planning her fairy tale wedding for the world to see. She says the kisses aren’t real unless the public sees them. Her 15 minutes of fame are almost up. Does she care more about the wedding or the man? On the surface everything is wonderful, underneath the relationship is only held together by threads of obligation. Will Andre marry Erica? Should he?
I also like the strong but uncertain Chelsea. She asks Andre to open up and be real with her but she’s hiding behind a wall of secrets. She has to balance being a single mom with a fast-paced writer’s job in the city that never sleep, along with having a wealthy boyfriend who she feels is way out of her league. Is she good enough?
I love the strong writing of Chris Rock. With every twist and turn I’m drawn further into the fairy tale I wanted to have nothing to do with. While Andre and Chelsea are being “rigorously honest” with each other, they are still hiding behind masks that won’t let them be true to themselves or each other. They have fallen for each other like The Prince and Cinderella. Will they see the truth before it is too late?
I really enjoyed this movie. There were so many hilarious scenes. One of my favorite scenes is when DMX starts singing “Smile.” Boyfriend can’t sing but what makes this scene funny is that he punctuates each sentence with “Motherfucker!” Another favorite scene is when Andre goes home for a visit. The family starts “Joaning” on each other. There are so many cameos in this scene I wish I could push the rewind button to see everybody again! My most favorite scene is when Andre decides to leave. He starts going through a swag bag and comes across a golden shoe. I am quickly reminded of my favorite fairy tale and am left wondering if this fairy tale will come true for Andre.