Friday

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Rapper Ice Cube, after appearing in such hard-hitting films as Boyz ‘N the Hood and Higher Learning, played his first non-tough guy role in the hilarious comedy Friday, which he co-wrote with frequent musical collaborator DJ Pooh. Cube plays Craig, a frustrated teen who endures the ultimate humiliation – getting fired on his day off (although he claims it’s through no fault of his own). A pre-Rush Hour Chris Tucker plays Smokey, Craig’s best friend and a marijuana-worshipping homeboy whose love for the green stuff lands him in predicament after predicament. Trying to avoid his father, who wants him to find another job immediately, Craig spends the day with Smokey, hanging out on the stoop of Craig’s rundown house, and the two hilariously confront a kaleidoscopic array of gangbangers, weed dealers, crack heads, prostitutes, scheming girlfriends, and neighborhood bullies. Eventually it’s revealed that Smokey has a real problem; he was given $200 worth of weed to sell by Big Worm (Faizon Love), but he ended up smoking it instead, and if he can’t come up with the money by the end of the day, he’ll be in a world of hurt (as will Craig, just for being his friend). And Deebo (Tom “Tiny” Lister, Jr.), a gargantuan bruiser who roams the neighborhood on his bicycle, has it in for Craig, while Craig tries his best just to stay out of his way and live through this action-packed Friday. Rude, crude and offensively hilarious (in a good-natured sort of way), and sporting a killer soundtrack featuring Dr. Dre, Cypress Hill, Mack 10, and Funkdoobiest, Friday is a keeping-it-real comedy for every day of the week. (Dir. by F. Gary Gray, 1995, 97 mins., Rated R) Digital