on March 28, 1997 by Bridget Byrne
Halle Berry is very pretty. Even with gold teeth, prehensile fingernails, whipped cream blonde hair and a squeeze-tight orange plastic jumpsuit, she's still absolutely beautiful. Beyond that, "B.A.P.S."--which stands for Black American Princesses--is bad, amateur, poor and silly. What is meant to be a cute, funny fairytale trip about the quest for the pot of gold, both literally and figuratively, stumbles and stutters lamely through a collection of scenes that don't make for a smooth story line. Instead, they aim for jokes that generate no laughs and leave the actors looking foolish and desperate.
Berry, as Nisi, and Natalie Desselle, as her pal Mickey, are two waitresses from Georgia who're fed up with their thankless jobs and mooching boyfriends. They decide to head for Hollywood to seek fame and fortune. They end up as enticements in a scheme to bilk an aging millionaire, but, of course, they ultimately choose to do the right thing and are rewarded for having their hearts of gold. Oscar winner Martin Landau ("Ed Wood") plays the rich old man and Ian Richardson ("Brazil") is his snobby English butler. Trapped in weak cliches, both veteran talents fail to suggest that they have much more ability as actors than the assorted bunch of cameo stars like Dennis Rodman and Downtown Julie Brown, who are clearly just in scenes to do friends a favor. The heart of the story (about how cross-cultural encounters can be worthwhile) that presumably underlies Troy Beyer's script is no more successfully illustrated than the wannabe jokes here. At the helm, director Robert Townsend ("Meteor Man") has made a film for which the adjectives "inert," "unfocused" and "foolish" do battle for the descriptive crown. Together, they combine to make this film B.A.D. Starring Halle Berry and Martin Landau. Directed by Robert Townsend. Written by Troy Beyer. Produced by Mark Burg and Loretha Jones. A New Line release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for brief strong language. Running time: 87 min
Tags: Halle Berry, Martin Landau, Directed by Robert Townsend, Written by Troy Beyer, Produced by Mark Burg, Loretha Jones, A New Line release, Comedy, waitresses, jobs, boyfriends, Hollywood, cross-cultural

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