I’ve been thinking about Top Five all day, probably because it’s perfect for film and comedy nerds … me in a nutshell.
The film, written and directed by Chris Rock, is a perfect trip through New York City and a comedian’s life as his character, Andre Allen, is interviewed by journalist Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson.)
My former journalist self loved that part of the film as well and I easily inserted myself into Brown’s shoes as she talked to Allen over the course of a day in the city.
I think you’ll get this reference after seeing the film (or I could be way off), but I think Allen and Brown are in kind of a modified Cinderella story as they get to know each other and the story builds to the final scene at the “ball.”
As a good share of comedians seem to be in real life, Allen is recovering from addiction and trying to focus on his career and redeeming his image. He is also trying to take more serious roles and stray away from stand-up, which may not be the best choice, leading up to his wedding to a Bravo reality star Erica (Gabrielle Union.)
Brown is equally going through some life changes and her scenes with Allen during their interview and then-some are revealing of both characters and how they challenge each other.
It’s an impressive balance between two main characters who are seemingly from different walks of life, but end up being more similar than they think.
The height of that balance comes in some dramatic scenes, but they are further balanced out with comedic performances by Brian Regan, Jerry Seinfeld and Tracy Morgan and Rock’s humor as well.
If you need more convincing to see Top Five, while it’s much deeper than this, there are hilarious scenes with Seinfeld in a strip club.
In the end, Rock’s script concludes Allen and Brown’s up and down day together perfectly and he doesn’t choose the predictable path for their relationship.
I liked the uncertainty he uses in the end while still creating a sense of conclusion for the story. Top Five, again the more I think about it, is brilliant across the board in its writing, directing and acting and could be one of my favorites this year.
“I think I’m always working on being comfortable with myself … I don’t even like the thought of it, really.”
— Sally Field on Nerdist with Michael Showalter and Chris Hardwick. (I’ve listened to this twice already today.)