Stealin' Home

USA Film Fest 1995–Stealing' Home is a mildly amusing urban comedy about the romantic escapades of a sexy black woman searching for the perfect mate. Shot in Dallas by John Carstarpen, pic is too slight and unassuming for theatrical release, but it could travel the festival circuit as specimen of low-budget regional indies.
 
The heroine is Ala (Phyllis Cicero), a professional woman with a big, healthy appetite for life's adventures. While jogging in the park, she meets a handsome man, Jezel (Lloyd Barnes), from the opposite side of the tracks, and the two embark on an intensely romantic and sexual relationship. Enthusiastically hopeful for a promising future with Jezel, Ala gives him a key to her apartment. However, returning home one day, after a big fight with Jezel, Ala dismayingly realizes that he has disappeared with all her furniture and belongings.
 
Most of the narrative, which is structured as a journey, details Ala's serio-comic search for her lost love–and furniture. The running joke is that in every encounter, she identifies a piece of furniture or personal item, beginning with spying a bracelet on the arm of her co-worker, Desiree (Annette Luckett-Brooks), who's bought the stolen good from Bobo (Marc Taylor), a street vendor.
 
Some complications ensue when Ala is suspended from her job after stealing the bracelet from Desiree. Down on her luck, she moves from one friend's apartment to another, she gets to learn how other women live. But she also discovers the ways the black-market world of "hot" merchandise operates in Dallas' poorer neighborhoods.
 
For a while, the humor in the writing and the energy of the lead performers sustain interest, but director Carstarphen doesn't know how to resolve his tale; the cute ending is too compromised and unsatisfying.     
 
Credits
 
A New Vista One production. Produced, directed, and written by John Carstarphen. Executive producer, Rebecca Rice. Camera (b&W), Carstarphen; music, Paul Bonneau, Christopher R. Morgan, Candy Williams. Reviewed at USA Film Festival, Dallas, Apr. 231, 1995. 
Running Time: 75 min.
 
Cast
Ala……………Phyllis Cicero
Jezel……………Lloyd Barnes
Bobo……………..Marc Taylor
Yvonne…………Laurel Hoitsma
Desiree…Annette Luckett-Brooks