Dear White People (2014)
By Dan Clendenin
This comedy about race takes place at the fictional Winchester University, where Samantha White, a biracial student, is elected head of her black residence hall. Sam hosts an edgy campus talk show called "Dear White People," where she deconstructs what it means to be black to white people. She also wants to prevent the university from diversifying her all black dorm. In describing Sam, one student said it was like "Oprah and Spike Lee had a pissed off baby." The college also features an annual Halloween party organized by the campus humor newspaper called Pastiche, at which students are encouraged to "unleash your inner Negro." I didn't find the movie offensive; everyone from all sides gives and takes the abuse. I just thought it was a feeble attempt to critique stereotypes with non-stop repartee about hair texture, skin color, music genres, food, etc. Is superficial satire a good way to tackle a complicated issue like race? Not in this film.