Class Act

Rappers Kid'n Play (Christopher Reid and Christopher Martin) started acting in 1990's House Party, an acutely funny look at black teens. But their edge is dulled in Class Act, a mistaken-identity farce updated with drugs and condoms. The John Semper-Cynthia Friedlob script favors use of the latter, not the former. There's courage for you.

Kid is Duncan Pinderhughes, the uncoordinated nerd. Play is Blade Brown, the uneducated L.A. home-boy. When their high-school records are switched, Duncan agrees to pose as Blade in class if Blade will sub for Duncan in gym. While Mr. Cool romances sweet Ellen (Karyn Parsons), the brain copes with sexy Damita (Alysia Rogers). First-time director Randall Miller guides them over every predictable comic misstep with a timeout for a hip-hop number. Kid'n Play have charm, but it's disturbing to see them settle for the slick. Their rap used to stand for something; now it's just easy listening.

From The Archives Issue 275: October 5, 1978
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