A Boy, A Girl, A Dream (R)

Romance 89 min. September 14, 2018
By Craig D. Lindsey
A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. sets out to show that white people don’t have the lock on movies about two strangers meeting on some glorious night and then seeing the sparks fly every which way. This film revolves around two Los Angeles–based African-Americans: club promoter (and aspiring filmmaker) Cass (Omari Hardwick) and Frida (Meagan Good), a lawyer (and aspiring DJ). Cass gets Frida into a club and, after a very heated moment in which they make out in the bathroom, they spend the evening sparring when they’re not letting personal issues hold them back from getting to know each other. Did I mention all this is going on during the sad, sad, very sad night when Donald Trump won the presidency?

A lot gets thrown into this compact hour and a half, from a brief, symbolic tussle with the cops to a party scene where the two leads take it upon themselves to keep the irate attendees calm and collected. Keep in mind co-writer/director Qasim Basir does this in a series of long takes that are digitally spliced together to make it look like it’s one unbelievably long shot. (There are also J.J. Abrams–style lens flares all over the damn place.) And while Basir has a cool eye for composition, this love story feels awkward and clunky. Despite also serving as executive producers, Hardwick and Good have minimal chemistry. As much as this movie wants to prove that love and hope can be found even when everything is going batshit, A Boy. A Girl. A Dream. goes about it in a cringey, saditty manner.
Qasim Basir Omari Hardwick, Meagan Good, Jay Ellis, Dijon Talton, Wesley Jonathan, Affion Crockett Qasim Basir, Samantha Tanner Samuel Goldwyn Films

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