School Daze (1988)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

The conflict between light-skinned and dark-skinned African Americans in a traditional black university is the subject of Spike Lee's semi-autobiographical film. This comedy-drama follows its ensemble cast over the course of the initiations week for the school's fraternities and sororities, alternating dramatic moments and fantastical sequences, including a musical number.

Rating: R (adult situations/language, nudity)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Spike Lee
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 30, 2001
Runtime:
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Cast


as Half-Pint

as Jane Toussaint

as Rachel Meadows

as President McPherson

as Odrie McPherson

as Cedar Cloud

as Coach Odom

as Grady

as Alpha Phi Alpha

as Booker T.

as Doo-Doo Breath

as Double Rubber

as Sir Nose

as Mussolini

as Alpha Phi Alpha

as Slim Daddy

as Big Brother Dr. Feel...

as Big Brother X-Ray Vi...

as Big Brother Chucky

as Big Brother Dr. Feel...

as Big Brother Lance

as Big Brother Gen. Geo...

as Lizzie Life

as Doris Witherspoon

as EU Band

as Jacquelyn

as Stephanie

as Alpha Phi Alpha

as Singer at Coronation

as Monique `Mo-Freak'

as Alpha Phi Alpha

as Virgil Cloyd

as Buckwheat

as Cecilia

as Counter Girl

as Student in Bathroom

as Miss Mission

as Alpha Phi Alpha Memb...

as Alpha Phi Alpha Memb...

as Alpha Phi Alpha Memb...

as Alpha Phi Alpha Memb...

as 1st Attendant

as 2nd Attendant

as EU Band

as Phyllis Hyman Quarte...

as Phyllis Hyman Quarte...

as Phyllis Hyman Quarte...

as Phyllis Hyman Quarte...

as Slim Daddy

as Jane Toussaint
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for School Daze

All Critics (20) | Top Critics (6)

Lee has a small, intimate talent; here, he goes for the big podium and blows it.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

For every tough-minded confrontation between the different student factions, School Daze is apt to offer a love scene less than vital to the plot, or an overlong musical scene whose effect is that of treading water.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Spike Lee had something in mind while he shot School Daze, his follow-up to the cult hit She's Gotta Have It. Unfortunately it's still lodged behind his cranium.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

School Daze, with its pompous patchwork plot, is an arrogant, humorless, sexist mess.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Although the film has big structural problems and leaves a lot of loose ends, there was never a moment when it didn't absorb me.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | September 23, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for School Daze

½

Some truly funny scenes and pretty entertaining song-and-dance numbers. But just too slow -- it was about half an hour too long.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

½

This is producer/writer/director/co-star Spike Lee's sophmore effort: a musical dramedy set at a HBCU (historically black college or university) over the course of homecoming weekend.

What I found so engaging about the film is that it never once shows the perspective of white people, and instead looks at various issues (primarily black on black discrimination) solely from various and well rounded African American povs. The film is somewhat dated with specific issues, but the overall messages are still powerful and relevant.

I like musicals, but I don't know if that was really a good way to present this material. That, and only one of the numbers really grabbed me. I will say that the stomp competition sequence was well choreographed and executed though.

The performances are good, and you can see Lee's innovations and techniques getting better and better, but the film is a little weak structurally and leaves a few too many loose ends. However, it is entertaining, and makes some important contributions cinematically (but most culturally and socially), so I say give it a chance. It's not too bad.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

I think the main problem with this movie is that it doesn't have a wide enough audience. It's audience is pretty much just African Americans who went to college and were in a fraternity around the time the movie takes place. It's very specific and hard to relate to. The actors were very good, but that's all I liked about this movie. The story goes nowhere, and the song and dance numbers annoy me. Overall, I wouldn't recommend it unless you can relate to it.

ajv2688
Aj V

Super Reviewer

School Daze Quotes

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