The Friday movie is the 1995 #CultureClassic buddy stoner comedy that helped change Hollywood. The film is directed by F. Gary Gray (in his directorial debut), and written by legendary MC Ice Cube and underrated music producer DJ Pooh. It follows Craig (Ice Cube) and Smokey (Chris Tucker), unemployed friends who must pay a local drug dealer on a Friday. The film’s black all-star cast also includes Nia Long, Bernie Mac, Tiny Lister Jr., and John Witherspoon.
Friday came to be out of Ice Cube and DJ Pooh’s joint discontent of how the hood was portrayed on film, aka violent and menacing. To counteract this, the two went about drawing on their own personal experiences when crafting the characters and plot points. They specifically wanted to showcase the lighter side of the everyday lives of black people living in the inner city. Not every moment has to be an existential crisis. Familial and friendship bonds and a community coming together are the actual themes that run through Friday…with a ton of jokes thrown in.
The film was released in theaters on April 26, 1995. It received positive reviews from critics, many of whom praised the comedic sequences, writing, and acting performances. Friday cost only $3.4 mill to make and ended up making $27.4 mill, making it a money making success. It almost instantly obtained a large cult following, going on to inspire a multitude of internet memes (“Bye, Feleci”a for example) and pop-culture references. The film also launched a media franchise that includes the sequels Next Friday (2000) and Friday After Next (2002) which also gained a cult following status. For chasing the narrative of “hood movies” and dropping so many classic scenes and classic lines that are meme’d and quoted to this day, Friday is music watch within The Culture.
Ice Cube and DJ Pooh were able to secure funding from New Line Cinema, by promising to cast a seasoned comedian in one of the lead roles; Cube and Pooh quickly settled on Tucker during casting.
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Written by @TalentedMrFord