Written & Directed By: Prentice Penny
Cinematography: Eliiot Davis
Editor: Sandra Montiel
Cast: Mamoudou Athie, Courtney B. Vance, Niecy Nash, Sasha Compere, Matt McGory
Elijah must balance his dream of becoming a master sommelier with his father’s expectations that he carry on the family’s Memphis BBQ joint. Seeing African american characters as successful business owners and treated as classy. Is rare in modern cinema. So it is a Welcome change and sight.
The character Wanting to get into more of an upscale career. Not them first one to achieve it, but to be a part of a growing number of and can maybe start a legacy of his own.
Even though the film is ultimately melodramatic it feels Lived in especially the conflict between father and son. We can understand the Fathers feelings of wanting to keep a legacy going within the family and it is hard for him to believe in his son’s Current interests when over the years he had so many that didn’t Pan out. Now he is ready to hand his son a whole new restaurant to add to his original to help take care of him and he doesn’t want it. Even as he becomes petty to him.
The son feeling like his father belittles, disrespects or doesn’t understand. The audience can relate to the relationship and the feeling of being an outcast in your passion. As that is the central conflict. As even when he gains a girlfriend the romance is teased more f or the audience for us and her to get to know him.
I will admit To being a sucker for Wine. Which i will admit is what got me interested in watching this film.
The family conflict is not necessarily a class warfare about him believing himself above anyone or too good to do certain work. We continuously see how devoted he is as he has to overcome so many embarrassing and difficult losses but keeps finding a way to move forward.
We also get to learn about a profession thought to be easy and are introduced to it’s Science and difficulties. The film even goes a little international. Even with a kind of familiar story. With a Heavy emphasis on family, duty, expectations and following your own passions. It’s nice to experience it through an African American’s Experience eyes and lens and not make it seem so foreign. Nor does the movie rely heavily on race and is only talked about minorly. Not cliche or tragic and allowed to be flawed, smart and strong Ending isn’t as predictable as thought.
A Story that reminds us you can guide and control only so much of what you create. Eventually you have to let go and see which ways it goes and manages itself.
You can help but once out of your hands, it’s Up to you and the world to see how it is treated and where it goes. Showing a character breaking into a Field not as common and more upper echelon and not being the first. It also allows the Audience an inside look into the profession and what it takes to gain an education in it.
There are Strong performances throughout a beautiful film that feels charming and handsome. Quite cultured and cultivated not a world changer but a good cut and dry drama about trying to live your dream and having the support of your family. Especially the ones you Try hardest to impress who seem the least interested.
The female cast is more regulated to the background, The movie never let’s anything else get in them way of it’s Main character stays an interest even his romance is Instant and matter of fact.
The feature directorial debut of Prentice Perry a writer, producer for shows like INSECURE and HAPPY ENDINGS. He gives the film humor while keeping the characters personality, charm and smoothness.