Justin Simeon’s Dear White People was a colossal hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Simeon received a Special Jury Award, the film received at least a dozen water coolers’ worth of good buzz, and it all made Simeon out to be a super neat guy. Also Rob Hunter liked it, which is worth a few points. Then, in the months since Sundance ended, audiences were inundated with The LEGO Movie, Godzilla and a good four or five superhero films and they forgot all about the little indie film that could (poke fun at the modern state of race relations).
But now Dear White People has a fall release date fast approaching, and the film has to do something to be heard over the deafening rustle of studio execs doing cannonballs into their chlorinated money pools. So we have been treated to the first Dear White People trailer.
True to its title, the whole trailer is basically a series of questions posed from black people to white people. Like why every big Hollywood release that primarily involves black people is Real-Life Historical Person Suffers Racial Injustice, Comedian Wears Fat Suit, Becomes 150% Sassier or Cool Rap Guy Does Stuff with Guns and Money. A tough question without an easy answer (well, without an easy answer that a major studio would gladly elaborate upon in a press release). Although, to the credit of the trailer’s hapless white dude, the guy who sells tickets at the local multiplex probably doesn’t hold all the answers to Hollywood’s great racial injustices.
Then, Dear White People aims one of its race-based truth bombs at Gremlins. Which sounds nitpicky and mostly unnecessary, until you remember those portions of Gremlins when the hilarious little green guys gobbled down fried chicken, breakdanced and robbed white people at gunpoint. Dear White People might have a point.
From the looks of the trailer, Dear White People is about as much fun as anyone could have when dissecting the racial undertones of Hollywood and our current culture. Because all black people might not be Martin Lawrence under several pounds of latex, but they do all shout “Awww, man!” and throw their hands up in unison when someone says something uncool. At least according to the trailer, anyway. Plus, it got a heap of good Sundance press. What could be bad?
Dear White People will criticize the inherent racism of our multiplexes when it reaches those multiplexes on October 17th.