About five minutes into The Cookout, a pair of reporters quizzes first-round NBA pick Todd Anderson (Quran Pender) on how it was like to come up from the ghetto. Anderson tells the reporters that he's lived in the same suburban house all of his life, and that his family has raised him well -- that his life hasn't been all hard knocks and thug life. At that moment I discovered two things about The Cookout. Number one: It was going to make some important social statements in a low key way. Number two: It wasn't going to be a funny movie.
The Cookout is a comedy-drama about a ton of interesting social dynamics: About the potential backlash of instant fame and fortune (and the resulting intra-urban pressure not to succeed), about the endless small stereotypes that white people make about black people (and the endless small stereotypes that black people make about white people), and about the need for people, black or white, to be true to themselves.
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