Green Book

Director: Peter Farrelly
Year Released: 2018
Rating: 3.0

Bouncer/fast-talker/voracious eater Tony Lip (Viggo Mortenson) is offered a multi-week job escorting Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) around the Midwest and the American South using the title 'guide' to know where African-Americans are 'safe' to sleep and eat. What begins in a rather obvious fashion - racist, blue collar Italian meets preening, high class black composer - with predictable interpersonal disputes (Shirley whines about Tony's 'gruff' behavior and bad habits, like chain smoking and stealing and littering and eating in the car) and cultural spats (run-ins with racist cops and other bigots) soon becomes an endearing Buddy Movie - Farrelly, known for his crude comedies, also knows a little about comedic timing, moving it along at a steady pace. Topical points about injustice and identity (Shirley is an African-American playing white music ... and he's gay) get covered - and they're vital - but it's the magnetism of both leads that lifts it up - Lip gets Shirley back in touch with his roots, Shirley teaches Lip some manners ... and makes him a little more tolerant (and in real life, they were friends). It's an unabashed crowd-pleaser with a solid heart - somewhere in the Cinematic Great Beyond, Stanley Kramer is nodding in approval.