Friday (1995): F. Gary Gray’s Tale of South Central Homeboys

Reflecting the new demographics and zeitgeist, namely, and the need for entertaining pictures that went beyond crime and drugs, a new, post-Spike Lee cohort of black filmmakers addressed themselves to different kinds of issues and experiences.

With a comic view of street life, F. Gary Gray’s “Friday” is about two South Central homeboys who hang out together. Lacking plot, the film is just a series of skits. But, as a ruder, more energetic version of the hip-hop House Party movies, Friday was embraced by black adolescents.

Boasting a front-porch philosophy about the way street life enters pop culture, the comedy displayed an attitude that set it apart from the other, mostly preachy movies about the hood.

Perhaps more importantly, “Friday” provided a voice for Gray, a new talented director, who proceeded with another New Line production, “Set It Off” (1996), a “Girls N’ the Hood” actioner with social conscience, and with the studio-made action-suspenser, “The Negotiator” (1998).