Review: Pootie Tang

Director: Louis C.K.
Year: 2001
Score: 3.5/10

In some ways this is a difficult movie to judge. It’s written and directed by Louis C.K., one of my favourite people, but he was apparently fired during the editing process (after which point it was extensively reedited) and has effectively disowned it. In a sense it can be pointed to as the justification for FX’s decision to give Louis complete creative freedom in making his crazy-good TV series Louie: Pootie Tang is what happens to Louis’ work when he doesn’t have creative freedom; Louie is what happens when he does. Some actors and comedians I really like are in it: J.B. Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Reg E. Cathey (The Wire), J.D. Williams (The Wire), Chris Rock, David Cross (Arrested Development) and Todd Barry. However, putting aside my feelings about them (and Louis himself), I have to be honest: it’s pretty bad. I got the feeling it might have been better with a more talented comedic actor in the lead role. Most of the 3.5 goes to Wanda Sykes and her hilarious dancing as Biggie Shorty (plus her memorable line, “You think that just cause a girl likes to dress fancy and stand on the corner next to some whores, that she’s hookin’?!”) . Wa Da Tah!

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