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The Wood

Director/Writer:Rick Famuyima
Paramount; 106 minutes; R
Cast:Omar Epps, Richard T. Jones, Taye Diggs

The Wood tells the tale of three black friends from the L.A. suburb of Inglewood. Time is split between their high school years of raging hormones and present day, when Mike and Slim (Omar Epps and Richard T. Jones) are seeing their childhood friend Roland (Taye Diggs) through premarital jitters. More specifically, Roland is drunk and cowering in an ex-girlfriend's apartment just hours before tying the knot. Most of the action takes place when the men flashback to their Eighties escapades, complete with “period music” (Eric B. and Rakim, Luther Vandross), old-skool fashion, and three boys who look nothing like their adult selves. Minor, skit-like episodes define the film: bumbling first attempts at romance, spoofish encounters with bad boys from the 'hood, the hallowed school dance.

The Wood presents an alternative to black booty comedy or titillating gangsta realizm, drawing more from sentimental comedies and sitcoms. It is a series of passing laughs with little weight, relatively mild sexual humor, pleasant, and entirely forgettable.

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