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A pretty weak comedy where Godfrey Cambridge unconvincingly plays a suburban racist white man who turns black one morning for no discernible reason. He initially wonders if he was over-using his new sun tanning lamp. He takes long milk baths to try and restore his light skin tone, all in vain. He then discovers how tough life can be in 1970 with a dark skin, as practically everyone in his life from his wife and kids to his co-workers and strangers treats him much differently.Though the potential for some really humorous situations was a natural given such a wild plot, I didn't really find this nonsense funny at all. And never once did I buy Cambridge as a Caucasian during the early segments of the story either. The movie does make its point, however.
Cambridge does an interesting lob playing a white man turned into a black man, but Van Peebles evidently wanted to make some pejorative assessments of both cultures. The negativity of the film is offset by slapstick and schtik – like the moment of awareness of the transition when Gerber goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night and when he gets off the toilet, a big black rear end fills the screen. The transition, itself, is never adequately explained: recessive gene gone berserk, sardonic God teaching a lesson, who knows?The sad part of the film is the inability to ever find purchase in the community. Not everyone is bigoted but they are all portrayed as one big cliché. Any normal unbiased people are immediately put off by the reprehensible actions of Cambridge – so there are no friends or allies except of the same race – or more purely – of the same anger.How nice this movie could have been if Van Peebles had allowed Gerber to rise to the top in spite of everything – t…
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