Jeremy Saville’s “Loqueesha,” a movie about a white man who finds success pretending to be a black woman on the radio, is a dreadful film.
It’s not because of the subject matter, though.
It’s dreadful because it’s aggressively unfunny, terribly acted and poorly filmed. Had the screenplay been strong enough to support the story, the movie’s numerous technical flaws might be charitably overlooked.
As it is, the clunky script failed it, leaving behind a mess that isn’t worth the controversy.
“Loqueesha’s” low budget makes itself known early on: the lighting is drab, most of the scenes are shot close up and the few bits of green screen are so terrible they should have been left on the hard drive.
It’s the 21st century, so I can’t say “cutting room floor” anymore.
None of the actors looked happy to be there and delivered their lines with an awkward affect that accurately reflected the script’s leaden dialogue. Unnecessary, expository scenes involving radio execs took the viewer out of the story, and montages of average people listening to Loqueesha’s sage advice on the radio fell flat.
Sometimes you have to decide that the baby is ugly early on so you can stop putting it in front of the camera. Nobody in production had the wit to do that.
If you want to know the difference between Story, Plot, and Execution, “Loqueesha” provides a perfect lesson. The Story is about a man who needs to be someone else.
The Plot revolves around a white bartender with the gift of gab who, after failing to get a job as a radio talk show host, sends in an audition tape of him speaking in a black woman’s voice, gets hired, and must maintain the charade to keep his job.
The Execution failed because the writing isn’t strong enough to support the Story.
View this post on Instagram
Today I’m bringing another negative review for ya’ll. So I watched Loqueesha, a comedy about a white guy pretends to be a black female talk show radio host and becomes a giant success. I cannot believe this got greenlit. While it tries to pack a well-intentioned message, everything about this is so tone deaf. 98 mins of a white guy talking in a black woman’s voice, if that sounds like you’re idea of fun, then this will probably be your favorite movie. That is, if you enjoy watching movies that are made in such a amateurish fashion. The production value looks worse than a YouTube video, the sound editing is awful, the acting is bland, and the writing is so bad. As a failed attempt as a screenplay writer, even I’m able to recognize how poorly written this is. Now I’m just bitter cause there is someone out there willing to fund something like this. I can’t believe Amazon Prime decided to exclusively show this. This makes Rim of the World seem woke. There is even a line where white people are referenced as the slaves now. Oof. Score: 1/10 #loqueesha #jeremysaville #marahill #dwayneperkins #tiaraparker #michaelmadison
The plot’s biggest failure is that Joe, the bartender protagonist, isn’t as clever, insightful or worldly as he needs to be to pull off the role with any success. An action star like Steven Seagal can get away with being slow and overweight in his later years through the use of special effects and carefully choreographed fight scenes. When your protagonist is supposed to be a sage who tells it like it is, what he says needs to be gold, or at least silver.
Joe’s lines didn’t even approach bronze.
There’s nowhere to hide with bad writing, and the script couldn’t rise to the plot’s challenge. If your wise man spouts banalities, everyone who sees him (or her) as brilliant comes off as too stupid or fearful to point out that the emperor has no clothes.
This script problem reaches its zenith with the love interest, who is initially attracted to Joe because of his incisive wit. Which isn’t there. So there shouldn’t have been a romance. But there was.
With everybody claiming the right to be offended by anything anywhere at any time, I can’t say that you won’t or shouldn’t be upset by the plot. After all, it’s about a white man pretending to be a black woman and getting paid for it. So it raises issues of affirmative action, racial quotas, sexism and whatever else causes your blood pressure to elevate.
However, it’s clear that Saville went out of his way to avoid making this a black versus white issue. Saville sets up the problem for his protagonist, then seeks to solve it through comedy. He’s deliberately using the Sassy Black Woman trope to communicate the idea that good advice is good advice, no matter where it comes from.
It’s just a shame that no good advice was proffered to anyone in this movie.
Due to the intense interest in Loqueesha, we are releasing it now. We made a funny movie intended to uplift, and I think when you see it in its entirety, you will be pleasantly surprised. So in the spirit of laughter and love, here is Loqueesha. https://t.co/INiJtS9Soq #loqueesha pic.twitter.com/emPTbxWHiC
— Jeremy Saville (@JeremySaville) May 21, 2019
While the plot is humorous in an abstract sort of way, the events of the film don’t entice one to watch what happens next. None of the characters shine, so it’s hard to care about what they do or how they feel. The end is not only unsatisfying, but frustratingly dumb: eventually, as it must, protagonist Joe’s secret is revealed, and the resolution of this makes no sense to anyone who’s been living in the 21st century for more than a couple of weeks.
I applaud Saville for taking on such a controversial topic and following through. That shows the kind of courage very few people in show business possess. Good for him. Unfortunately, he made such a dog’s breakfast out of the concept that it’s unlikely anyone else will step out on that limb again.
I wanted to like “Loqueesha.” If it had any good parts I’d be shouting their praises to the rooftops because so many whiners got mad at this movie sight unseen, and I love to make adult babies cry. As it is, I can’t find anything to like about it.