Last week, April 26th to be exact, was the twentieth anniversary of the Ice Cube classic, Friday. If this movie is not in your collection, then I just don’t know what you’re doing with your life (LOL).
Directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, Friday is a classic American movie. Kind of an all-in-a-day coming-of-age flick. Craig grew up in this movie. He went from a boy to a man by the end. At least that’s how I saw it. I wanted to marry Craig after he whipped Dbo’s ass.
I remember going to see this like it was yesterday: It was on a Friday, on Broadway, with my then boyfriend. I was taking a break from college and had come home for a few months. I was so psyched to see it! There hadn’t been a hip hop comedy since House Party and the excitement was tangible.
The movie was so much more than I expected. How do you make a movie funny? Fill it with standup comedians. You have Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, John Witherspoon, Angela Means-Kaaya, Yvette Wilson, Reynaldo Rey and Anthony Johnson. Each of them had roles so memorable that people today quote their lines, and don’t even know where they got them from.
Ice Cube showed his comedic side, which was something those of us at the time had never seen. I didn’t even know he could smile back then, let alone be funny. His classic line (one of his classic lines) “Bye Felicia,” took on a life of its own and somehow worked its way to being a show on VH1.
In the last few minutes, the tone changed and got really serious. The entire audience gasped, and said a collective “Oh shiiit!” when Craig shot the gun. Followed by, a sigh of relief when we saw he hadn’t. It became a story about heroism, bravery, and respect. Fucking. Awesome.
Friday is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’m so glad I was able to see it in the theater, with all the electricity of being on Broadway, in the 90s. Good times.
There are so many classic lines in this movie, here are just a few:
“My neck, my back; my neck and my back.”
“You didn’t put in on this maaaan!”
“You ain’t got to lie Craig! You ain’t got to lie.”
“Don’t nobody go in the bathroom, for about 35, 45 minutes.”
“I don’t think you applying yourself Smokey.”
“It’s the Mack!”
“La la…Aye! Smokey back here taking a shit! I ain’t gonna tell nobody else.”
“Ms. Parker! Ms. Parker!”
“I still look… I still look high?”
“Where your mama at?”
“Uh uh, ‘cause see, I ate twice before I came.”
“Oh, you ain’t catching no crackhead.”
“But if you come by I won’t call you. Ok? Don’t ever, EVER, ever ever ever ever ever, come by here, ok?”
Like I said, those are just a few.
How many of you noticed that when his girl was on the phone asking him about being at the club that she had a dude in the bed with her? I’d watched it a few times before I noticed that.
Connections: John Witherspoon and Anthony Johnson were also in House Party. Nia Long, Ice Cube and Regina King were in the classic Boyz in the Hood, Angela Means-Kaaya, Bernie Mac and Reynaldo Rey were in House Party III. Ice Cube, Bernie Mac, Anthony Johnson and Michael Clark Duncan were all in The Players Club. And I think just about every comedian in here was on Def Comedy Jam. Can you think of anymore connections between actors in this movie?
Friday went on to spawn two funny sequels. But as funny as they were, they don’t match the heart of the first one. Which is almost unfair to say, because it would be damn near impossible for them to. That first one was pioneering. It mixed comedy and deathly serious themes, in a way I hadn’t seen before it.
I’ve seen Friday more times than I can even attempt to count. And yes, I’m one of those people that will recite every word, line for line, when I watch it. So if we ever happen to be in the same place watching this movie, you will hear my mouth. You have been warned! I was watching it when I started typing this, when I realized, oh snap! This is the twentieth year anniversary!
Five star movie.
Thank you for reading!
Rest in peace to Bernie Mac, Yvette Wilson and Michael Clark Duncan. How fortunate we are and they are, for having shared their gifts with us.