From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from B*A*P*S)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Townsend
Produced byMark Burg
Jay Stern
Written byTroy Byer
Music byStanley Clarke
CinematographyBill Dill
Edited byPatrick Kennedy
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date
  • March 28, 1997 (1997-03-28)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$10 million[citation needed]
Box office$7,338,279[1][2]

B.A.P.S. (an acronym for Black American Princesses)[3] 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 Byer and was her first screenplay. The film is about two aspiring female 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.


Nisi (Halle Berry) and Mickey (Natalie Desselle) are waitresses in a soul food diner in Decatur, Georgia. Their plan is to open the world's first combination hair salon and soul food restaurant.

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 cash in on 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 part of his fortune to them.



The film was the first screenplay written by former actress Troy Beyer.[4][5]

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 explained that this was the first time Robert Townsend had directed a film that he had not written. She used her earnings from this film to direct her first film.[5]


Critical response[edit]

The reception was overwhelmingly negative. On Rotten Tomatoes has a score of 16% based on 32 reviews.[6] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B.[7]

Roger Ebert gave the film a rare no-stars rating, calling it "jaw-droppingly bad".[8] Ebert included the film on his "most hated" list.[9] 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."[10]

Esther Iverem of The Washington Post wrote "Despite its idiotic promotional trailers, 'BAPS' is a very funny movie."[11] Lisa Alspector of the Chicago Reader called it "absurdly broad comedy infused with classic emotions and set in sumptuously detailed environments".[4]

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."[12]


1998 Acapulco Black Film Festival

1997 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards

  • Worst Actress - Halle Berry (nominated)[14]


  1. ^ "B.A.P.S. (1997)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "B*A*P*S (1997)". The Numbers.
  3. ^ Marr, Madeleine (June 21, 2019). "'Two queens on one track': Trina and Nicki Minaj work it on 'BAPS'". Miami Herald. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Alspector, Lisa. "B.A.P.S." Chicago Reader.
  5. ^ a b "Actor-Director Troy Beyer Talks About Sex". Indiewire. 14 September 1998.
  6. ^ "B.A.P.S. (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  7. ^ "B.A.P.S. (1997)". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20. Retrieved 2019-03-29.
  8. ^ Ebert, Roger. "B.A.P.S." RogerEbert.com.
  9. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Ebert's Most Hated – Roger Ebert's Journal". RogerEbert.com.
  10. ^ Maslin, Janet (28 March 1997). "Trashy Chic Goes West And Finds Rodeo Drive". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "BAPS". The Washington Post.
  12. ^ Cohen, Anne. "B*A*P*S Deserves More Respect Than A 13% Rotten Tomatoes Score". Refinery29.
  13. ^ "B*A*P*S (1997) – Awards". IMDb.
  14. ^ "The Stinkers 1997 Ballot". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Archived from the original on 18 August 2000.

External links[edit]