Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

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Food: While in Utah, we visited the popular High West Distillery. I started with a warm cocktail called the Trapper, made Rendezvous Rye® Jamaican Rum, Allspice, Mexican Chocolate and Whipped Cream.  To eat, my dad and I split the SALOON SAUSAGE PLATTER which had Garlic Knockwurst and Jalapeño Cheddar Sausage, Smoked Onion Hash Browns & Caraway Braised Cabbage with Saloon Mustard. The Jalapeño sausage was too spicy for me, but the Garlic Knockwurst was delicious. We also split the ROCKY MOUNTAIN TROUT which included Pan Fried Trout Filet, Brown Butter Spaghetti Squash with a Hazelnut & Tarragon Gremolata. It was fantastic. Following the first cocktail, I ended the meal with a cider.

Film: “Dolemite Is My Name” serves as a biopic of Rudy Ray Moore as well as an homage to the 1975 film “Dolemite,” giving us a look into how it came to be, and showcasing the relentlessly optimistic personality of its star.

Eddie Murphy gives a better than ever performance as the lead, already earning him loads of praise. As Moore, he is persistent in his efforts to make it as an entertainer, but is down on his luck, when he gets inspiration in an unlikely place and comes up with an alter ego character for his comedy routine called Dolemite. Dolemite is ostentatious, swanky and riotous. He spits rhymes about his sexual escapades and became an immediate sensation, especially in black culture and developed a cult following and a series of blaxploitation films.

The film explores how Moore’s determination and loyalty allowed him to establish himself in history as a pioneer of rap. As Murphy himself says of Rudy Ray Moore’s attitude, “Your belief and your volition gets you whatever you want.” If they won’t produce his record, he will make it himself. If people won’t sell it, he will sell it out of the back of his car. Despite being clad in glitz and glamour, and sidesplitting filthy comedy, the story is grounded in a powerful vulnerability that Murphy portrays, allowing the character to emerge as far more than just a caricature.

Further, the film serves to show how comedy is a reflection of culture, and how hard it was to make it in the entertainment industry as a black man. He paves his own way, and then the white producers come running. But, even after plenty of success, he continues to have to prove himself and is met with skepticism.

It is such an entertaining and exciting film, complete with a stacked cast including Craig Robinson, Tituss Burgess, and Keegan Michael Key and cameos from Snoop Dogg and Chris Rock. With a lively soundtrack and decadent leisure suits, “Dolemite Is My Name” drops its viewers into the heart of 1960’s black culture with hilarious sincerity. Easily one of the best films of the year.

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