One film sill currently out in theaters is Chris Rock's critically adored comedy, Top Five. Despite its head-scratching snub at the Golden Globes where comedies are given the rare chance to shine, Top Five is a well crafted passion project in which Rock writes, stars in and directs. The comedian's talents are on full display and his creativity proves limitless with a highly insightful and honest depiction of Hollywood stardom.
In what may sound like a semi-autobiographical premise, Chris Rock stars as a revered comedian and actor named Andre Allen who's sobered up and determined to transition to a more "serious" actor. But as he returns to his home town in New York City to promote the release of a new film and hold an interview with writer Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson), Andre begins to open up to the reporter and gain a deeper perspective into his own life. Yet, with a wedding to a reality TV superstar quickly on the horizon and surfacing news of a brutal debut for his film, Andre is forced to make some rash decisions in his life.
As someone who has always had an affection for Chris Rock's stand-up comedy, the mature and sophisticated writing evident throughout Top Five is an absolute game changer. Rock mixes the perfect concoction of comedy and drama to cover all grounds necessary. His feature is guaranteed to elicit laughs as well as demonstrate some sincere vulnerability to the superstars we constantly place in the spotlight. But if I had to highlight a particular issue with the movie, it would definitely focus on the contrived subplot of Andre Allen's alcoholism. However, no blemish is large enough to derail Top Five, as it remains a huge step for Rock's filmmaking career and we can only wish for more of the same in the future.