Brown Sugar

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Movie Review by Neils Hesse

Starring: Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Queen Latifah, Nicole Ari Parker
Director: Rick Famuyiwa

Is it love or is it just hip hop?

Dre (Taye Diggs) and Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) have been friends for most of their lives ever since they met and discovered they had a similar love for hip hop as kids. Their love for music stays with them as they grow up and their choice of careers reflects this. While Dre becomes a successful music agent Sidney branches into journalism as a successful music critic/author.

Their friendship, or so they believe, has always been based mainly on their shared feelings for their love of music, but when Dre gets married and Sidney starts seeing someone seriously their friendship is put to the test as the reason for their shared love of hip hop becomes painfully obvious.

While Sidney is advised on how to handle men by her roommate, Francine (Queen Latifah) who she lives with, Chris (Mos Def), an extremely talented rap artist, challenges Dre into reviewing his achievements and contributions to the world of music. Eventually though Sidney will face her demons and so will Dre. They will both have to make choices that could either strengthen or ruin their friendship.

Taye Diggs gives an impressive performance here, combining the cocky narcissism yet uncertainty perfectly. Sanaa Lathan is equally good as the woman who has closed herself to the world and lives for just one thing but refuses to accept the very thing that she desires most. The supporting cast all give good, solid performances especially Mos Def and Queen Latifah.

With good performances and a good storyline BROWN SUGAR is unfortunately a bit too predictable, and considering the talented cast it could have been handled better. Having said that it is a good date movie and the ladies ought to love it!!

4 out of 6 stars