Top Five: Film Review

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Top Five is brilliant – so hilarious, meta, and well observed and proves just how talented Chris Rock is at writing comedy (he also directs here). He stars as comedy movie actor Andre Allen, who was best known for his stand-up work and “Hammy the Bear” cop franchise, but since getting clean and sober he is trying to forge a ‘serious’ acting career with little success.

The film mainly focuses on Andre being interviewed by New York Times reporter Chelsea (Rosario Dawson) and his upcoming marriage to reality TV star Erica (Gabrielle Union). Top Five just felt so relevant and contemporary that I loved it. It captures the zeitgeist so well and I felt it gave a great insight into the faked reality of TV, how difficult it is to change a public image and the tenuous relationship between actor and reporter. As a journalist and a lover of the film industry, I found this completely fascinating.

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The observational humour was so on point that I just smiling and laughing the whole way through. It did have some laugh out loud moments, most notably a scene involving the most inventive use of a tampon ever, but also some quiet, reflective moments. It narrowly avoided sentimentality at the end – it almost went there and I thought it was about to lose its edge but then it was swiftly reined back in.

Honestly, I have nothing bad to say about Top Five. I loved the script, the cast, the comedy and the number of familiar faces he roped in – most notably Adam Sandler, Whoopi Goldberg and Jerry Seinfeld. This has been out in the U.S. for a really long time and I’m so glad U.K. audiences are finally getting to see it because it’s so, so good! Bravo Chris Rock!

Released in limited U.K. cinemas on Friday 8th May

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