Today I had the pleasure of watching Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Released in 1967, the movie’s premise is that a Caucasian girl and an African-American man meet in Hawaii and fall in love. They come home to give her parents 1 day to decide if they should be married. The movie is a great attempt and I do enjoy it for the most part. There are moments when, it does seem contrived but as an aspiring albeit horrible fiction writer, I understand how hard it is to mimic the entirety of the human emotion.
There was a remake of this film made with Bernie Mac, Ashton Kutcher, Zoe Saldana, and Judith Scott. The film, directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan creator of such inspiring film as How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Barbershop 2, focuses on a black family and their daughters white suitor. Guess Who while not horrible, was not very good either. It didn’t do much to elevate the dialogue about Interracial relationships. In fact, I would even go so far as to saying that the remake made a mockery of the entire ordeal. Though, I have to say that I did not expect much thought provoking film from Mr. Sullivan as he has directed the worst film from the Barbershop series.
I did enjoy Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. Although, the character of Dr. John Prentice was made as the most perfect black person to disrupt any possible objections to the relationship on the basis of his character flaws. It was nice to see an intelligent, respectful, serious black person on the screen. As of late, most black people on the screen are in different stages of regressing to the minstrel acts of the past.
My favorite line from the movie was when Sidney Poitier remarks as John Prentice to Roy Glenn playing Dr. Prentices father, “You think of yourself as a colored man. I think of myself as a man.” I really enjoyed this quote because; it is in contrast to our current society. While, the election of Barak Obama, a mixed race American Politician, to the office of President of the United States should have been the start of the erasure of racial lines. However, due to the low level of political discourse in America race is now at a horrible point. People think of themselves as being a “Black Man” or a “White Man” or a “Muslim Man” or whatever kind of person they seem to be more than they have before. America needs to move past the juvenile idea that people are a race and their behavior is dictated by that skin color to the point where people define themselves by the person that they are, the things that they do, the stuff that they create. This would be the world if every person thought of themselves like Dr. Prentice.
Final Rating: NNNN