Milestones are the thing to celebrate these days so here’s an important one: On June 28th, 2017, Boomerang turned 25. It was directed by Reginald Hudlin (House Party, The Great White Hype) and was based on a script by Eddie Murphy (Literally everything in the 80s and 90s). It featured a star-studded cast with names such as Halle Berry, Martin Lawrence, and David Alan Grier.
In my most humble opinion, Boomerang is the greatest rom-com of all time. It’s a movie that takes classic gender roles of courtship and applies a modern spin. Boomerang is the GOAT though for accurately forecasting dating in the 21st century.
Although this movie grossed $133 million domestically and worldwide, this still seems like a take hot enough to burn the sun since this movie boasts a 40% rotten tomatoes score and 5.4/10 on IMDb. I think there is a perfectly reasonable explanation for that: No one understood black people enough to enjoy our movies back then. By 1992, Eddie Murphy had Beverly Hills Cop I and II, Golden Child, Trading Places, Harlem Nights and Coming to America under his belt and their success makes my statement seem quite egregious. What sets Boomerang apart from these movies is that it was set in the present day using black lingo and an all-black cast in positions of power. If you go back and read reviews (which I urge you to do) they all mention this movie’s crass humor or the “urban tone”. The only thing that would have helped this movie was English subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Nonetheless, this movie was ahead of its time even though it took the rest of America awhile to catch on.
I’ll go into the characters and themes of this movie and I’ll try to keep spoilers to a minimum as I do so.
- Knows “the game”
- Successful businessman
- Incredibly high standards
- Looking for perfection
- Enjoys the chase more than feasting on the prey
- The “good” guy
- Watches the game through the eyes of his friend who is a player
- Has no game
- Oversells his “game”
- The “I almost hit” guy
- He really ain’t out here. Like…he really ain’t out here at all.
- Gives advice that he should take
- Has no game as well
- The “good” woman
- Often overlooked due to lack of sex appeal
- Keeps herself occupied with work and claims to not take dating seriously.
- Read everything listed under “Marcus”.
Boomerang was the first movie I watched that inverted gender roles. Before you @ me, yes, I know Pillow Talk exists and no, I haven’t seen it. I’m neither a World War 2 vet nor a Turner Classic Movies enthusiast. “Rock Hudson” sounds like a porn star who moonlights as a private eye. What a ridiculous, yet effective stage name. Anyway, I digress.
Marcus’ struggles come from a struggle that most men face: Needs vs wants. The thrill of the chase. Marcus has a laundry list of attributes to make the perfect woman and he won’t settle until he finds her. He finds everything he needs Angela yet sees everything he wants in Jacqueline because she can’t be had.
Throughout the movie, Marcus is shown having his choice of any woman he wants. His neighbor played by Tisha Campbell, a random passerby played by Lela Rochon, and even Eartha Kitt. Every woman caves to Marcus’ charm.
This is very relatable as a man. I’ve lived it and I’ve seen it. We want a woman until we have her then we don’t want her anymore because she was easily had but we take her anyway because she gave herself up even though we shouldn’t have taken her in the first place because we knew we didn’t really want her. Makes no sense, I know. (Run-on sentences are fun though.)
Marcus, although comfortable with Angela, still wants Jacqueline. She’s the only woman in the movie to resist his advances and plays the same game he does. This pursuit of scarcity or the female version of himself makes Marcus eventually realize that the energy he was putting out into the world was coming back at him, hence the boomerang.
Boomerang serves as a parable. Sometimes needs are good enough. Wants are nothing but shiny packaging that reveals an empty box once unwrapped. So stop fawning over that young lady who replies with one-word texts and take a chance on that coworker who gives you the googly eyes. She might be the one.
Boomerang is the greatest rom-com of all time because it’s not outdated. It’s a great representation of the dating world using an all-black cast in a world where people think “black” movies aren’t relatable. I’ve seen it hundreds of times and it still offers a fresh perspective. If you haven’t seen this movie already, then hopefully I didn’t spoil too much of it. If I did, shame on you for clicking this post because you were curious. You should check it out anyway, though.
If nothing out, check out the amazing ass soundtrack.