Melvin Van Peebles Stars in Semi-Autobiographical Vanity Pic
Melvin Van Peebles has enjoyed an enviable career as an internationally-renown filmmaker, actor, singer, producer, playwright, scriptwriter and composer. The 77 year-old Renaissance man might be best remembered for both starring in and directing Sweet Sweetback’s Baadassssss Song, the groundbreaking drama which gave rise to the blaxsploitation era of the Seventies.
If it sounds a little like I’m vamping to avoid discussing his new offering, you’re right. For I hate to have to knock a revered icon for what is likely to serve as his swan song. The principal problem with Confessionsofa Ex-Doofus-ItchyFooted Mutha is that Melvin decided to play himself in this semi-autobiographical vanity pic covering critical events in his life from his formative years through middle age.
It’s simply impossible to buy the idea of a graying septuagenarian as a teenager in the bloom of youth, whether he’s rolling in the hay with a buxom, barely-legal babe or just hanging out with hustlers on the streets of Harlem. Yes, Mr. Van Peebles throws himself into the role with an admirable gusto for a geezer, but in the end this patchwork quilt of slapdash sketches is less a fully fleshed-out cinematic concept, than a mediocre piece of performance art.
Sorry, I simply can’t recommend this impressionistic bio-pic in good conscience, even if the subject is a worthy ex-doofus-itchyfooted mutha.
Fair (1 star)
Running time: 99 minutes
Studio: Yeah, Inc.