8 February 2006 | dee.reid
Ernest R. Dickerson, best known as Spike Lee's #1 cinematographer, has had a spotty track record as far as being a director, making his directorial debut in 1992 with the gritty and ultra-bloody crime drama "Juice." But here, he moves into lighter, still turbulent waters. He guides young Raven-Symone (in a nice turnaround from her usual comedy stuff) as a crusading teenager out to integrate her school's two separate proms. She does so with the help of her friends and a reporter from New Orleans, played by Aisha Tyler, who went to the school where this is happening. I slightly remember the case of this prom from four years ago and it is very disturbing to even think that racism is still that blatant in this country. I think it currently runs against the liberal ideology of things getting better through time, so what is better? Dickerson's cinematography makes the whole thing look pleasant, though the same can't be said for the critical subject matter. Raven-Symone does some excellent work here in giving her character many dimensions and it becomes clear that she is fighting a tough uphill battle against years of tradition, and the scars of her battle become clearly evident. The rest of the cast is good too, though the only thing that wears it down is some overt preaching and the feeling that it is just above average Lifetime Channel fan fare. But it is still a valiant effort that shouldn't be missed nor should it be overlooked by the overall movie-going public.