Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Robert Townsend|
|Produced by||Mark Burg, Jay Stern|
|Written by||Troy Beyer|
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Edited by||Patrick Kennedy|
|Distributed by||New Line Cinema|
|Budget||$10 million|
B.A.P.S. (an acronym for Black American Princesses) is a 1997 American comedy film directed by Robert Townsend and starring Halle Berry, Natalie Desselle and Martin Landau. The film was written by Troy Beyer and was her first screenplay. The story is about two aspiring entrepreneurs from Georgia, Nisi (Halle Berry) and Mickey (Natalie Desselle) who go to Los Angeles to earn the money they need to open their own restaurant. The film received largely negative reviews from critics. In total it earned $7.3 million at the box office worldwide.
To accumulate start-up money, they audition for a music video in Los Angeles. Through an unusual turn of events, they end up assisting a Beverly Hills butler and caring for an aging millionaire, Mr. Blakemore (Martin Landau), who welcomes them into his mansion. They become Black American Princesses (BAPs) "livin' large and takin' charge!" amongst the rich and famous.
They soon find themselves in the middle of a plot to milk the millionaire of his fortune. Realizing that they have acted no better than the plotters, they choose instead to become Mr. Blakemore's primary caregivers.
Blakemore eventually passes and his will grants half of his fortune to them.
- Halle Berry as Nisi
- Martin Landau as Mr. Donald Blakemore
- Ian Richardson as Manley
- Natalie Desselle as Mickey
- Troy Beyer as Tracy Shaw
- Luigi Amodeo as Antonio
- Jonathan Fried as Isaac
- Pierre Edwards as Ali
- A.J. Johnson as James
- Bernie Mac as Mr. Johnson
- Faizon Love as Tiger J
- Rudy Ray Moore as Nate
Writer Beyer was disappointed by the final cut of the film, and believed that her "words had not honestly made it onto the screen". She noted that this was the first time Robert Townsend had directed a film that he had not written himself. She used her earnings from this film to direct her own first film.
Roger Ebert gave the film a rare no-stars rating, calling it "jaw-droppingly bad". Ebert included the film on his "most hated" list. Janet Maslin praised Halle Berry for her comedic performance and described the film as a "watered-down Pretty Woman". Maslin concluded "It's good for a half-hour of humor before the fun starts to dissolve."
Esther Iverem of The Washington Post wrote "Despite its idiotic promotional trailers, 'BAPS' is a very funny movie." Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader called it "absurdly broad comedy infused with classic emotions and set in sumptuously detailed environments".
In 2018 Anne Cohen of the website Refinery29 called the film a "Black cult classic" and said the film deserved better than its 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Cohen said "The fact that the film has had such a lasting impact,... proves that the film spoke to its audience."
- Worst Actress - Halle Berry (nominated)
- "B.A.P.S. (1997)". Box Office Mojo.
- "B*A*P*S (1997)". The Numbers.
- Marr, Madeleine (June 21, 2019). "'Two queens on one track': Trina and Nicki Minaj work it on 'BAPS'". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- Alspector, Lisa. "B.A.P.S." Chicago Reader.
- "Actor-Director Troy Beyer Talks About Sex". Indiewire. 14 September 1998.
- "B.A.P.S. (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "B.A.P.S. (1997)". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
- Ebert, Roger. "B.A.P.S." RogerEbert.com.
- Ebert, Roger. "Ebert's Most Hated – Roger Ebert's Journal". RogerEbert.com.
- Maslin, Janet (28 March 1997). "Trashy Chic Goes West And Finds Rodeo Drive". New York Times.
- "BAPS". The Washington Post.
- Cohen, Anne. "B*A*P*S Deserves More Respect Than A 13% Rotten Tomatoes Score". Refinery29.
- "B*A*P*S (1997) – Awards". IMDb.
- "The Stinkers 1997 Ballot". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Archived from the original on 18 August 2000.
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