Wednesday, August 18, 2010

White Men Can't Jump (1992)

Ah, but, you see, they can. They can jump.

This movie has a lot of Spandex in it.

There are also a lot of baseball and biking(?) caps and a lot is made of which way they are turned:

White Men Can't Jump is the story of Billy Hoyle, a white man who aspires to jump. Billy is a basketball hustler. What he does is he shows up at basketball games in parks and acts like he's some doofus who's all goofy over this wacky game!

He then convinces the players to challenge him to a little game of HORSE and he always wins because the other player thinks there's no way in the world this dweeb could play basketball.

This is when Sidney realizes he's getting hustled by Billy (Woody Harrelson), which, by the way, I just watched Zombieland and his character isn't as awesome as the preview makes him out to be.

Billy's girlfriend is Gloria as played by the ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE Rosie Perez.

Throughout the movie, Gloria is studying for Jeopardy. There's a lot made of them waiting for Jeopardy to call. Which doesn't seem to likely as they're running from the mob and they're in a new hotel every night.

Sidney (as played by Wesley Snipes) decides to team-up with Billy and do a team hustle. Which is this: Sidney shows up and challenges someone to choose anyone on the court to be his partner in a game of 2 on 2, of course the guys choose Billy (because, hello! look at his stupid hat!)
But we, the audience know, that Billy is a really good player.

So, there's a scene where Billy and Sidney arrange to play this guy:
And he says the money is in his car, so he goes to his car and, at this point I got really emotional!!! Because this guy, the look on his face says he knows he's doing something stupid, but there's also this naivete that he's so sure he's going to win. But we, the audience, we know he won't win! It's like when you're watching your sleeping cat and they're about to roll off the couch and there's nothing you can do and they look so happy, but from the kitchen you can see they're going to go BOOM in about three seconds.
BOOM! There wasn't money in his car, there was a gun and a ski mask.
Don't do it, man! They're hustling you!

These guys are the reason Billy is a hustler. He owes the $7000 and if he doesn't pay, they're gonna kill him!

So, one day he's hustlin' with Sidney and, for some reason, Sidney's game just isn't working. His defense is real bad and Billy and Sidney end up losing $1300 when they were supposed to win $700.
Billy goes home to tell Gloria what happened and she's all "duh, you were hustled."

So Billy and Gloria go to Sidney's apartment and there they find the guys they had tried to hustle earlier hanging out and watching cable TV. Gloria is PISSED. She arranges, along with Sidney's wife. To split the money that was lost in the hustle. Also, Sidney and Billy have to enter a 2 on 2 basketball tournament with a grand prize of $10,000.

That's a fancy trophy.

Billy is trash talking Dwayne Wayne. He'd better step off because, after Theodore Huxtable, Dwayne Wayne is totally my soul mate.

Billy and Sidney make it to the FINAL!

And the play is pretty darn awesome.

And they WIN!!!!

But, Billy being Billy, on the way home from the tournament, loses most of his winnings to Sidney when they bet over whether or not Billy can dunk. Billy cannot dunk. He is a White Man who cannot jump and it costs him nearly $5000.

He buys a dress to try to distract Gloria from the lost money. He bought the dress for her to wear on Jeopardy because earlier she told him she would need a dress to wear when they call her to be on the show. Billy buys Gloria a dress that would totally look at home on the prostitute version of Pretty Woman.

Gloria is none too happy that Billy lost the money and bought her a slutty dress for Jeopardy so she leaves him.

Then, the bad guys catch up with Billy and threaten to kill him. He promises to get them the money in a week and they give him one last chance, after showing him a photo album of all the people they've killed due to unpaid debts.

Billy goes to Sidney and asks for help. He says he needs to get Gloria back and Sidney is all "Oh, BROTHER."

Then, this happens!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"What is a quince."

Best scene of the movie.

After the show, Billy woos Gloria back with a song about water and screwing.

One day, Billy and Gloria are exercising in the park and planning their future together when Sidney appears.
He wants Billy to help him. You see, Sidney was robbed and he needs to get some money because his wife is way done with their neighborhood and she wants to move, STAT.

Sidney found out that there's a game against two of the legends of 2 on 2. There's only a $2500 ante to join the game, which means they could win $5000 or something. Gloria just gave Billy $2000 of her winnings to buy a suit and get a job.

When Gloria overhears Billy talking about using her money to bet in a game she realizes things are over between them. Gloria is moving up in the world and Billy is still the same old Billy.
Oh Rosie, it's so hard to say goodbye.

So, Billy and Sidney play the game with Gloria's money.

And things aren't looking good.

But then, they start to work as a team and things start clicking and something amazing happens:
Billy, a white man, JUMPS!

And they wiiiinnnnnn!!!!!!

The bad guys get their money from Billy and, as they get into the van, we are treated to a view of their leopard-lined van.

And then, Billy and Sidney walk off into the sunset together.

For those who dont' think that White Men Can't Jump is an inspirational sports movie, I'd like to say this:

Or whatever. The name of the movie is something that Billy attempts to overcome the whole time. He loses the love of his life, yes. But he gains the ability to jump and that's what counts.

I think we've all learned a very important lesson in life, love, and basketball.

And finances, never bet with your girlfriend's money that she gave you so you could find a job.

Bad idea.


1 comment:

  1. Ooh, speaking of love and basketball, you could do that movie, too. Although maybe I'm just thinking of sports movies and not inspirational sports movies.

    I've never seen White Men Can't Jump but for some reason I had assumed it was slightly...tougher? Apparently that is not (at all) the case.