The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (18)
| Top Critics (12)
| Fresh (5)
| Rotten (13)
Every time it dabbles in real-world teen issues like sex and drugs, it returns to a fanciful high school where kids quote Nietzsche and play acoustic guitar on lunch breaks.
Mario Van Peebles' self-produced project comes frustratingly close to his high-minded aims.
Heavy-handed teen drama mixes moralizing and partying to uneven effect.
A good-natured high school dramedy that borrows from many others...
With the raunch of "American Pie" and the heart of an after-school special, the comedy turns out to be a lot less than the sum of its parts.
Van Peebleses ... populate the movie, and all are serviceable enough as actors; it would be nice to see them in less earnest, more original material.
I have to admit there is something kind of disarming about its corny earnestness. Van Peebles clearly invested himself in the material, and damn it all if he wasn't going to wring that screenplay for all it was worth.
[VIDEO] There are a few moments during writer/director Mario Van Peebles's overly didactic high school drama when you can almost glimpse the good film buried beneath all the artifice.
Initially promising teen comedy-drama, featuring African-American kids not in the ghetto for once, soon undermines itself in a welter of clichés and empty gloss.
Joining two overweight characters in a relationship just to make a joke about them enjoying an all-you-can-eat buffet hardly qualifies as progressive, intellectual comedy.
Unfolding like a 21st Century update of African-American coming-of-age classics House Party (1990) and Love Jones (1997), We the Party might very well come to serve as the seminal adventure capturing the angst and aspirations of the Millennial Generation.
While We the Party can be insensitive, or blind, to the misogyny and homophobia of the general culture (the token gay teen is a finger-snapping, head-bobbing fashionista), it takes the issues of race and class quite seriously.
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