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Review Excerpts For ‘Sprung’

Fri., May 16, 1997

Here’s what critics say about the movie “Sprung,” which opened at Lyons Wednesday (reviewed in the May 14 Spokesman-Review):

Paula Nechak/Seattle Post-Intelligencer: … like the ponderous “love jones” and the misogynistic “A Thin Line Between Love and Hate,” “Sprung” struggles to find its own innovative voice as it focuses on African American twentysomethings whose lives are far from the stereotypes of most contemporary black films.

Characters are either stripped of ethnicity or they are over-the-edge players fixated on that myth of black prowess that remains resolutely racist in its own right. The result is a curious mixture of charm and crassness.

But “Sprung” manages to, at least, keep its sense of humor and poke gentle fun at its stereotypes. It will be a relief when black films aren’t tinged with the prejudices they’re aching to shed. “Sprung,” for its faults, makes steps in the right direction and makes no bones about what it aspires to be.

Terry Lawson/Detroit Free Press: … Cundieff’s obvious infatuation with “booty” is antithetical to the romantic mood he wants to create. And Cundieff isn’t able to get credible performances out of his cast, including himself. His sensitivity is as suspect as his ambition; he may talk Gordon Parks, but “Sprung” walks like a sexed-up “Jeffersons.”

Carrie Rickey/Philadelphia Inquirer: For the most part, Cundieff, whose directorial skills have taken a quantum leap since “Fear of a Black Hat” and “Tales From the Hood,” proves himself an able filmmaker and charming light comic. Campbell, who has the cuteness quotient of Meg Ryan, is adorable as always. But Parker, who delights in too-little skirts and too much mouth, handily upstages the romantic leads.

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