28 October 2011 | brooksduane54
Robin Givens is, as usual, the highlight of the film.
The theatrical picture "Foreign Student" is, looked at on its own, a sensitive and often moving film. The atmosphere of 1950s Virginia is skillfully re-created, the performances, are for the most part, incisive and stirring, and the script is tender and refreshingly non- melodramatic, allowing the proceedings to evolve in a mature and realistic way. Yet for all that, all this, the greatest plus, the most positive element is--drum roll, please--Robin Givens. As April, the local schoolteacher who also works as a domestic, she deftly creates a soulful and sexual woman. We immediately see why French exchange student Phillipe is drawn to her, why he falls in love with her. Indeed, we rather envy the young Parisian for being able to hook up with such a sexy and mature and quietly passionate girl. And when, at the end, they part and April leaves him a warm and loving good-bye note ("To Phillipe. All my love. Always. April"), we genuinely feel Phillipe's satisfaction at having had such a gorgeous and caring and fully-rounded lover. It is Robin's graceful beauty, her smoldering sexiness, and her classy intelligence that make her such an admirable love object and cause her to be the high point of the picture. When People Magazine did a story on her during the 1980s, it quoted her as contending that her long-range plans included more parts for "wholesome black girls--we don't have many female heroes in that vein." Robin Givens's character in "Foreign Student" may not be "wholesome," but through her smooth good looks and stylish sex appeal, she is certainly, definitely a "female hero" for black girls and, in fact, for girls of all races.