IMAGINE A MOVIE that purports to be about race, in which all of the black men are pussy-chasing rapper-gangsters, all the young, white men are wimpy wiggers or gay, and all the old, white men are crooked cops or dirty lawyers -- a movie where all the white women have blatant jungle fever, and the only black female character with a speaking part is hysterical about all the interracial coupling. Well, there's no need to imagine anymore (no matter how bad the idea sounds), because that's just the movie James Toback made. It's called Black and White.

The movie is brimming with racial stereotypes, yet it uses the most irrelevant groups as examples. We're supposed to accept wealthy, Manhattan private-school kids as a microcosm of white America? Worse, Toback's film is so self-deluded that it confuses conviction with confrontation. Putting black actors and white actors together in front of a camera does not automatically result in a scathing indictment of race relations, nor is a superfluous shot of a brown ass next to a pink ass going to shock anyone into a revelation about the nature of racial tension.

The poor cast can't breathe under the weight of the clunky clichés that make up the script, but Bijou Phillips, as a rich wigger girl, stands out for being even worse than the material. When she tells dreadlocked trustafarian-documentarian Brooke Shields that "nigger" is a racial slur but "niggas" is slang for cool, her attempted "street" accent comes out Southern belle.

And amazingly enough, on top of all the facile cultural shorthand the film serves up, there is no plot whatsoever. People meet, fuck, ride the ferry, and pack heat; but at the end of the movie, nothing has happened. In a way, the most realistic thing about Black and White (besides when Mike Tyson, playing himself, gives bad advice about abiding the law and sounds like a dumbass) is that no one changes, learns, or even thinks during the course of the film. Needless to say, audiences won't have to either.

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