Now, I wanted to watch this immediately I saw the trailer. It's basically a movie about a down on her luck teenager who decides to start stripping for money.
The money starts rolling in, soon enough, but so do customers and clientele who want her all to themselves.
The danger begins when one of these clients, who takes care of her when she is pregnant with another man's baby, decides that she needs to quit working at the strip club and start working for him. He's a pimp, and he draws her into his game, which eventually ends up being a crime spree.
I wanted to see it, not because I thought it would be good, but because I love stories about the life and psyches of strippers – you know, how they started and why, the other factors contributing to their lifestyle, how and if they get out of it - and, I love the actors.
Lil Mama is vastly underrated – did you watch Crazy Sexy Cool, the TLC biopic, one of the few biopics in the last couple of years that was actually good and tried to be truthful to the facts? If you did then you know what I'm talking about. Yes, Lil Mama is a rapper but she can also act her pants off – literally.
Lance Gross is Lance Gross, i.e. fine and talented (we thank you God, for Ghanaians #KofiSiriboe), but nowhere does his talent shine more than when he isn't playing the quintessential good boy as he does on Tyler Perry's House of Payne.
The thing that is the best about his role here is that it is so surprising – he is actually menacing, and terrifying, and convincingly in love with this girl, all at the same time. It's an experience to watch.
What was the icing for me on this cake was that this movie is based on a true story, which is awe-inducing and frightening at the same time.
There is a particular level of violence that is unprecedented in these characters – in real life, Falicia Blakely met this guy when she was still underage, at around 16, and her life proceeded to spiral out of control. She's still in jail today, which is a sobering thought that will stay with you as you watch this movie.
It isn't for the faint-hearted – not that it is the most violent movie ever - but it definitely is a lesson in discernment. Moral of the story? Don't throw away your life for a dude with nice words.