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What's Love Got to Do with It? - Boomerang - Friday

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What's Love Got to Do with It? (1993)

What's Love Got To Do With It
Image via Buena Vista Pictures

Director: Brian Gibson
Stars: Angela Bassett, Laurence Fishburne, Khandi Alexander, Cora Lee Day, Jenifer Lewis, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Chi McBride, Richard T. Jones

Inspired by Tina Turner and Kurt Loder's book, I, TinaWhat's Love Got to Do With It? tells the legend's life story, from her upbringing in Tennessee to the moment she crossed the threshold to stardom. Born Anna Mae Bullock, Turner (Angela Bassett) realizes her dream to be a professional singer, thanks to the charming Ike Turner (Laurence Fishburne). Their relationship quickly becomes romantic and they wed, rocketing to fame as Ike and Tina Turner.

But when Ike grows jealous of Tina's place in the spotlight, he takes his anger out on her physically, savagely beating her. As Ike descends deeper into drug use, his behavior worsens, as do the beatings, but Tina puts her best face forward for the public. She fights back, eventually divorcing Ike and winning the right to keep her stage name—essentially, her independence. With the help of producer Roger Davies, she goes on to become the icon she's recognized as today—without Ike.

Loosely based on actual events and sharing the title of one of Turner's biggest solo hits, What's Love Got to Do With It? is powered by the performances of Bassett and Fishburne. The former portrays Turner with the strength that's come to be known as her trademark. Take the limo scene, where Ike and Tina trade blows before she asks Ike, before pouncing on him, "Is that your best shot?" Fishburne’s Ike is a possessive man ruined by drug addiction and excess. In the infamous "Eat the cake" scene, a stoned Ike mushes cake all over Tina's face, humiliating her in front of a diner full of people, showing no remorse.

Bassett and Fishburne, reunited following their appearances in Boyz n the Hood, both earned Academy Award nominations for their performances, and Bassett scored a Golden Globe, all of which were well deserved.

Boomerang (1992)

Image via Getty

Director: Reginald Hudlin
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Halle Berry, David Alan Grier, Martin Lawrence, Bebe Drake, Chris Rock, Eartha Kitt, Grace Jones, John Witherspoon, Lela Rochon, Melvin Van Peebles

Karma is vicious, so watching a womanizing ad man simultaneously meet his match and his comeuppance has to be entertaining, right? Right. In Reginald Hudlin's Boomerang, the arrogant Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) beds women with no remorse—until he's introduced to his new boss, Jacqueline (Robin Givens). She's a man-eater who devours Marcus whole and spits out everything except for his heart, which she crushes in the palm of her hand. Because Marcus is essentially following Jacqueline to his demise, he overlooks bubbly art department employee Angela (Halle Berry), but only temporarily.

Once Jacqueline sees that Marcus' interest has gone elsewhere, she reels him right back in. This leaves Marcus forced to decide between the genuine love he feels for Angela and the lust that Jacqueline uses to manipulate him. To this point, Boomerang revealed a valuable life lesson: sometimes you have to face yourself and see the undesirable characteristics within to become a better person.

Music played a huge part in Boomerang's success. The soundtrack is objectively amazing, but it's also important to the film. Toni Braxton's "Love Shoulda Brought You Home" was ripped right from the script, echoing Angela's frustration with Marcus and his issues with commitment. Hell, her "Love should've brought your ass home last night!" line inspired the song. P.M. Dawn's "I'd Die Without You," is sung from Marcus' point of view, struggling as he discovers that Jacqueline has turned the tables on him and that Angela is the one he needs. Plus, Grace Jones appears as an exaggerated version of herself, and her Strangé commercial is essentially a visual depiction of how Yeezus sounds.

Friday (1995)

Image via New Line Cinema

Director: F. Gary Gray
Stars: Ice Cube, Chris Tucker, Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny "Zeus" Lister, Jr., John Witherspoon, Anna Maria Horsford, Regina King, Paula Jai Parker, DJ Pooh, Faizon Love, Tony Cox

After directing a few of Ice Cube's videos, F. Gary Gray struck gold with his first feature film, the cult-classic comedy Friday. Cube plays Craig, who's experiencing a long weekend after getting fired from his job, for allegedly stealing boxes. (Is this ever confirmed? Does it even matter?) Anyway, his pothead friend, Smokey (Chris Tucker), has a remedy for the situation: get high, because it's Friday and there's nothing better to do. Little does Craig know that Smokey, possibly the worst low-level drug dealer ever, has goaded him into getting high on his own supply when he's already in debt to Big Worm (Faizon Love). They spend the day trying to raise the $200 Smokey owes Big Worm, all the while avoiding hulking neighborhood bully Deebo (Tiny "Zeus" Lister, Jr.) and trying to keep a close eye on everyone's dream girl, Debbie (Nia Long).

Friday doesn't force a deep message down your throat, the plot isn't intricate, and a great portion of the film takes place on Craig's front porch. But the characters carry this movie and make it a classic. The loud, animated Smokey provides constant comic relief; Debbie is that around-the-way girl that every dude covets; and Craig is the laid-back hero who knocks the neighborhood bully the fuck out and gets the girl in the end. It's your average Friday in the hood, except this one is endlessly quotable and has infinite replay value.


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