You So Crazy

In his Fox TV sitcom, Martin, 28-year-old Martin Lawrence modifies his raunch. On HBO's Def Comedy Jam, he opens it up. In You So Crazy, the film of his stand-up act, he lets fly. It's pussy this and dick that and kiss my ass, muthafucka, if you don't like it. If that were all it was, this concert film wouldn't matter a damn. But Lawrence has a gift for physical movement, for getting inside male and female psyches and for seeing both sides of a question in ways that are knockdown funny.

Filmed at New York's Brooklyn Academy of Music's Majestic Theater, You So Crazy shows Lawrence in his element – prowling a stage and working an audience. His humor isn't as raw as Eddie Murphy's. And his satire doesn't draw blood like Richard Pryor's; not yet, anyway. Despite the vulgarity, there's a warmth in Lawrence that comes through. Director Thomas Schlamme lets us see it in Lawrence's eyes even when the topics are as "craaazy and deeranged" as racism and Jeffrey Dahmer.

Lawrence's emphasis on the scatological often wears out its welcome. The bit about a bitch who stops screwing to go to the toilet and then brings "shit crumbs" back to the bed tests endurance. But in an extended routine during which he takes hilarious note of how both sexes play hard to get, Lawrence strikes a mother lode of piercing observational comedy.

From The Archives Issue 677: March 10, 1994
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