Reviews

Baps

1

Titter ye not. The title may sound like just the ticket for Page Three salivators, but B.A.P.S couldn't be less of a topless tottyrama if the Pope had directed it. No, this is a feel-good comedy, or at least that's what Entertainment's PR division has had the bare-faced audacity to call it. In reality, it's about as funny as a kick in the crotch.

The mysterious title refers not to funbags but to so-called Black American Princesses Halle Berry (The Flintstones, Girl 6) and Natalie Desselle (Set It Off), who dream of opening a restaurant and a hair salon (not in the same space, you understand) and who, for some inexplicable reason, think that trying out for an LA rap video with music star Heavy D will kickstart their gastronomic/follicular careers. Improbable, yes, but that's as nothing compared to the twist that finds them becoming soulmates to rich, dying, Space: 1999 legend Martin Landau.

Director Robert Townsend reckons he was attracted to the film because of the "hilarity" of Troy Beyer's script. If this is the case, the movie must have been edited with a pair of shears, because nothing even vaguely funny remains on screen. B.A.P.S is merely a succession of lame gags about gold teeth, big hair and the culture clash between upper-class whites (exemplified by Ian Richardson's starchy butler) and streetwise blacks. The resulting popsicle-light fairytale could be a Disney cartoon, except that it's not a) animated, b) expletive-free, or c) worth watching.

The only commendable thing about this movie is the performances. Richardson is always good value, and Halle Berry has proven herself more than just a beautiful face.That said, she must have buried her beehive hairdo in her hands when she saw herself being systematically upstaged by new girl Natalie Desselle, who is destined for much greater things (actually, very few lesser things exist). Meanwhile, the excellent Martin Landau who doesn't even look poorly, let alone terminally ill - is forced to take part in the godless indignity that is disco-dancing. Why oh why?

Verdict:

Not even remotely amusing, B.A.P.S is a sort of low-rent African-American Pretty Woman that misfires on every available cylinder. Don't go near it.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: August 1st 1997

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