Monday, June 25, 2012

Barack Did All the Right Things on First Date with Michelle

How the first date between Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson went down:

(1) Browse through the Art Institute of Chicago
(2) Lunch by the courtyard fountain at the Art Institute
(3) Stroll down Michigan Avenue
(4) Catch Spike Lee's new movie Do the Right Thing

Do the Right Thing does seem an improbable date movie, even for an African-American couple, but perhaps they had other things on their minds.

I had seen Spike Lee's first big splash, She's Gotta Have It. That was an essentially uplifting movie. Do the Right Thing was a fatalistic turn.

Mookie, Spike Lee's character in Do the Right Thing is going to be back this summer for a cameo in a new Spike Lee movie, Red Hook Summer. In it a young boy from middle-class Atlanta is sent to spend the summer in the Brooklyn housing projects with his religious grandfather.

That doesn't look very promising as a date movie either, but if in 20 years you can be President and your future spouse can be First Husband, well, you'd better talk your would-be boyfriend into taking you.

Spike Lee soured on America when he got to Hollywood. When Do the Right Thing lost the Best Picture Oscar to Driving Miss Daisy that broke his heart. Hollywood was simply more comfortable with the well-off Jewish woman and her black chauffeur.

It also didn't help when his engrossing film Malcom X also got overlooked at the Oscars with Denzel Washington losing the Best Actor award to Al Pacino for the cute but forgettable Scent of a Woman.

Spike Lee's movies have never broken the magical $100 million domestic box office mark so he's back to directing independent films, just like Mookie is back delivering pizzas. If it's good pizza, that's a respectable calling. Of course, Mookie might have gone into business with Vito when Sal retired and Pino lit out for the suburbs, but Sal's place burned down.

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