COVER STORY – “Rule number one in The Wood: Either you gang bang or you play basketball. Or you can be a pimp like me.” Y’all know how I always talk about how classic movies have lines that you can quote, well The Wood surpasses just quoting lines. This 1999 classic will have you reciting the whole movie from beginning to end. I’m talking about line after line! From “N***a ain’t nobody fixin’ you grits” to “What? You let that n****a Terry bone…” Writer/Director Rick Famuyiwa nailed this instant culture classic.
“So what’s The Wood, you ask? For those that don’t know. Well, it’s not what you think,” (insert devilish grin). The Wood is the nickname for Inglewood, CA and it’s where this beautifully done coming of age story takes place. We got Ro (Tay Diggs/Trent Cameron) Slim (Richard T. Jones/Duane Finley), and Mike (Omar Epps/Sean Nelson) taking us on a hilarious cross between flashbacks of their childhood and the day leading up to Ro’s inebriated reluctance to say “I do”.
The Wood is the Black version of Stand By Me but much more relatable. You see, I didn’t grow up taking adventures through the forest and jumping in leach infested creeks. See, anytime a movie has a creek in it and leaches, it’s already de urbanized lol. I grew up cautiously going to stores that gang members hung out in front of, grabbing booty cheeks, taking pens to parties and playing the phone number game (the phone number challenge for you millennials), and hanging with my two best friends- my brothers from another mother- every day. “Mac’n and Hanging” is what we were all about.
One of my favorite plots of the movie was the effort these guys innocently put into losing their virginity. I never found myself more anxious to see who was gonna “hit the booty first”. These guys had a “pussy jar” full of cash that would be given to the first of them who got some first. How awesome is that? LOL! More awesome was, the respect Mike had for Alicia, (the love of his life played by Malinda Williams/Sanaa Lathan) when he did finally hit her before any of his boys got some, by not telling them, to claim the prize.
If you haven’t seen The Wood in a while, I suggest making time for it soon. It will do your soul some good as you will find yourself chuckling all the way through and maybe even shedding a tear or two in the end when Mike delivers his best man speech. But you bet not let Stacey (De’Aundre Bonds) catch you crying, cause he’ll for sure put your ‘crybaby ass in the backseat’ for doing so.Leave a comment