Baby Boy (film)

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Baby Boy
Baby boy theatrical poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJohn Singleton
Produced byJohn Singleton
Written byJohn Singleton
StarringTyrese Gibson
Omar Gooding
Taraji P. Henson
A.J. Johnson
Snoop Dogg
Ving Rhames
Music byDavid Arnold
CinematographyCharles Mills
Edited byBruce Cannon
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • June 27, 2001 (2001-06-27)
Running time
131 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$16 million[2][3]
Box office$29,381,649[2]

Baby Boy is a 2001 American coming-of-age hood film written, produced, and directed by John Singleton.[4][5] The film follows bicycle mechanic Joseph "Jody" Summers as he lives and learns in his everyday life in the hood of Los Angeles. It represented the film debut of actress Taraji P. Henson and R&B singer Tyrese Gibson. Gibson and Henson later starred in the film Four Brothers. The film, originally set to star Tupac Shakur, instead switched to Gibson after Shakur's death in 1996.


A 20-year-old man named Joseph "Jody" Summers lives with his 36-year-old mother Juanita in South Central Los Angeles. He spends most of his time with his unemployed best friend Sweetpea, and does not seem interested in becoming a responsible adult. However, he is forced to mature as a result of an ex-con named Melvin, who moves into their home. Another factor is his children—a son Joseph "JoJo" Summers Jr. with his girlfriend of five years, 22-year-old Yvette, and a daughter with a 17-year-old girl that he cheated on Yvette with named Peanut who also lives with her mother.

At the beginning of the movie, Jody waits for Yvette at the clinic and it is found out that she was pregnant and that Jody made her have an abortion. Jody and Yvette have a heated argument about his lack of commitment and selfishness in their relationship but they have hot and heavy make- up sex. Yvette constantly asks Jody if he will ever come live with her and their son so they could be like a family, but Jody avoids the subject and comes and goes as he pleases. Jody also continues seeing and having sex with other women, including Peanut. Jody also nearly has sex with 23-year-old Pandora, Yvette's colleague and co-worker, but manages to rebuff her advances. This becomes an issue between him and Yvette as well, especially since Yvette doesn't get along with Peanut nor Pandora. When she discovers his cheating, they get in a another heated argument which results in Yvette punching Jody in the face and Jody slapping Yvette in the face. After this, Yvette changes the locks on the door. This infuriates Jody and they get into an argument, which JoJo witnesses.

Eventually, Yvette's gangster ex-boyfriend Rodney is released from San Quentin State Prison and returns to the neighborhood to move in with Yvette, much to her dismay. Rodney doesn't care for JoJo and wants to impregnate Yvette himself. Rodney attempts to rape Yvette in front of her son, but reconsiders after being guilted by Yvette and JoJo. Despite their previous differences, Yvette begins to realize she is still in love with Jody. For the next couple of days, Yvette lives in fear and disgust of Rodney being there. Juanita finds marijuana in her garden and blames Jody for planting it. Jody becomes angry at his mom and blames Melvin for the marijuana. Melvin comes home and admits to Juanita that he planted it and apologizes for it. Juanita docilely accepts and digresses the situation, causing an argument between her and Jody, who feels wrongfully blamed. Jody and Melvin then get into a heated argument, which results in Melvin punching him in the face and breaking the table. Jody leaves the house to see Sweetpea. After this, Yvette kicks Rodney and his friends out of her apartment. Eventually, after some more bickering, Yvette and Jody reconcile at Sweetpea's house, and Yvette tells Jody that Rodney attempted to rape her in front of JoJo. Rodney steals the money and keys from her wallet and takes off in her car to go and find Jody. Rodney tries to kill Jody in a drive-by shooting; however, he is unsuccessful.

Later that night, Jody and Sweetpea confront Rodney, and as he attempts to escape, Jody shoots him in the back of the legs. Sweetpea urges Jody to kill Rodney, but he refuses, at which point Sweetpea shoots Rodney anyway. Horrified by Rodney's death, Jody prepares to commit suicide by shooting himself in the head, but Melvin catches him in the nick of time and takes the gun. After reflecting on the death of Rodney and how he put Yvette and his son in danger by not being around consistently, Jody finally moves out of his mom's house and in with Yvette.

Jody has now become a mature man, realizing that Juanita's relationship with Melvin is a stable one and that he has a family of his own that he needs to protect and take care of. Afterward, Jody and Yvette get married and look forward to the birth of their unborn child. Sweetpea decides to turn over a new leaf and gets baptized, putting his old life as a thug behind him.



Box office[edit]

In its opening weekend, the film grossed $8,606,403 in 1,533 theaters in the United States, averaging $5,614 per theater, and ranking #5 at the box office. It grossed a total of $28,734,552 domestically and $647,097 elsewhere for a total of $29,381,649, above its $16 million production budget.[2]

Critical response[edit]

Baby Boy received positive reviews from critics and has a rating of 71% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 92 reviews with an average score of 6.2 out of 10. The consensus states "Preachy and repetitive in parts, Baby Boy still manages to exude authenticity, thanks to its competent cast."[6] The film also has a score of 55 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 26 critics indicating 'Mixed or average reviews'.[7]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3½ stars out of 4 and stated in his review: "Baby Boy is a bold criticism of young black men who carelessly father babies, live off their mothers and don't even think of looking for work. It is also a criticism of the society that pushes them into that niche. There has never been a movie with this angle on the African-American experience" and "[it] doesn't fall back on easy liberal finger-pointing. There are no white people in this movie, no simplistic blaming of others; the adults in Jody's life blame him for his own troubles, and they should."[8] Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, praised the film for being "...Compelling.... heartfelt and personal..." Jonathan Rosenbaum of Chicago Reader also liked the film, stating "Like John Singleton's other features, this is far from flawless.... But the characters are so full-bodied and the feelings so raw and complex that I'd call this the best thing he's done to date..."[9]


Baby Boy: Music From the Motion Picture
Soundtrack album by
Various artists
ReleasedJune 19, 2001
GenreGangsta Rap
LabelUniversal Records
Mannie Fresh
Mark Sparks
James Poyser
Chris Liggio
Singles from Baby Boy: Music From the Motion Picture
  1. "Just a Baby Boy"
    Released: June 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4.5/5 stars [10]

A soundtrack containing hip-hop and R&B music was released by Universal Records on June 19, 2001. It peaked at #41 on the Billboard 200, #12 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #5 on the Top Soundtracks, and spawned one charting single, "Just a Baby Boy", performed by Snoop Dogg featuring Tyrese & Mr. Tan, which made it to #90 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #40 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks. The soundtrack contains interludes which are sound clips from the film.

  1. "The Womb (Intro)"- 1:14 (Tyrese)
  2. "Just a Baby Boy"- 4:16 (Snoop Dogg featuring Tyrese & Mr. Tan)
  3. "Just a Man"- 3:59 (Raphael Saadiq featuring Devin the Dude)
  4. "Focus (Interlude)"- :22 (Tyrese & Taraji P. Henson)
  5. "Baby Mama"- 4:44 (Three 6 Mafia featuring La Chat)
  6. "Talk Shit 2 Ya"- 4:35 (D'Angelo featuring Marlon C)
  7. "I'd Rather Be With You"- 4:55 (Bootsy Collins)
  8. "You"- 4:45 (Felicia Adams)
  9. "Jody Meets Rodney (Interlude)"- :30 (Tyrese & Snoop Dogg)
  10. "Crip Hop"- 5:03 (Tha Eastsidaz featuring Snoop Dogg)
  11. "Thatshowegetdown"- 4:17 (B.G. featuring Baby & Lac)
  12. "Guns and Butter (Interlude)"- :30 (Ving Rhames)
  13. "We Keep It G"- 4:44 (Lost Angels)
  14. "Eat Sleep Think"- 3:36 (Connie McKendrick)
  15. "Just to Keep You Satisfied"- 4:24 (Marvin Gaye)
  16. "I Hate You (Interlude)"- :41 (Tyrese & Taraji P. Henson)
  17. "Love & War"- 5:21 (Anthony Hamilton featuring Macy Gray)
  18. "Straight Fucking"- 4:59 (The Transistitions featuring Gator)
  19. "Baby Boy"- 4:30 (Felicia Adams)


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Box Office Mojo
  3. ^ The Numbers box office data
  4. ^ "Baby Boy (2001)". UGO Entertainment. Retrieved 16 April 2012.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Baby Boy (2002)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 16 April 2012.
  6. ^ Baby Boy, retrieved 2016-10-01
  7. ^
  8. ^ Roger Ebert review Chicago Sun-Times. June 27, 2001.
  9. ^ Rosenbaum, Jonathan. "Baby Boy". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  10. ^ Baby Boy at AllMusic

External links[edit]