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Friday Essay, Research Paper

The movie Friday is a comedy, but it also depicts many important social

issues. The story is set in the city of Los Angelos, California, in what

could be called a high class ghetto. The main theme of the movie is about a

young black man who looses his

job and is influenced by his best friend to smoke marijuana. The movie also

shows the relationships of his family and other members of his neighborhood.

With a zany cast of characters and a hilarious script this movie touches on

everything from gang v

lence to the use of drugs, crime, guns, relationships, sex and life in the

ghetto. Because of all these issues, I found this an interesting movie with

a wide variety of topics to address.

Marijuana has been around for a long time. It’s use is once again becoming

popular. Although it’s not legal, many people use it socially and for

medicinal purposes. The Hollywood elite smoke it. Musicians such as Dr. Dre

and the Black Crows celebra

it’s use. Television shows like Saturday Night Live and Kids In the Hall

depict it as harmless fun.

Marijuana fashion has grown into a ten million dollar industry, with the

seven branch marijuana leaf showing up on caps, T-shirts, earrings and

tattoos. Studies show that after a decade of declining drug use, marijuana

use has increased sharply among

gh school students and college students in the last two years (Duschbaun 8).

In the movie Friday, rap star Ice Cube plays the character Craig. Craig has

never smoked marijuana. However, his best friend "Smokey" smokes marijuana

everyday. Craig looses his job, leaving him home all day with nothing to do

to occupy his time. H

just hangs out in the neighborhood with his friends. Smokey tries to

convince Craig to try some marijuana. At first Craig doesn’t want to.

Smokey is persistent. He points out to Craig that he doesn’t have to work

and doesn’t have anything better to

. Craig and Smokey eventually sit on the front porch and get stoned. Peer

pressure is obviously the only reason Craig gives in. Actually he had other

options, but he chose not to use them. Common sense and a simple explanation

would have worked for

aig just fine (How to Say No and Keep Your Friends 23) Everyday we are faced

with choices. It is up to us to decide what’s right and wrong. Craig

decides to try it and things start to happen that he really doesn’t like.

Craig and Smokey get into some trouble with the neighborhood dealer, Big

Worm. Smokey sells pot for him, but can’t pay him the money he owes because

he and Craig smoked the pot. Big Worm threatens them and sends a gang of

"hoods" after them with mach

e guns. They just barely escape and are scared shitless. The amount of gang

violence that can be contributed to the use and sale of illegal drugs has

risen dramatically in the past seven years (Gates 67). It’s no wonder that

this is happening with th

use of marijuana becoming so popular again.

Violence and crime are issues we hear about every day. We can watch any

news broadcast and see the evidence of these increasingly worrisome problems.

In Friday, both of these issues are very apparent. Debone, the neighborhood

thief and "bully" is co

tantly harassing the people in Craig’s neighborhood. He breaks into their

homes, steals their possessions, beats people up to take their jewelry and

other items and is just generally a pain in everyones ass. He is the most

violent person in the movie

Craig gets into a fight with him and pulls a gun on Debone. Craig feels

confused and not sure what to do. His father convinces him to give him the

gun. He insists that Craig should fight like a man with his fists. I don’t

think that was very good a

ice. Debone was twice as big as Craig and probably 100 pounds heavier. They

do fight and surprisingly Craig wins. You would think that most problems can

be solved without violent acts. The reality is that sometimes, under certain

circumstances, that

ust doesn’t work. Obviously, this was one of those times.

Sexual promiscuity was also depicted in this movie. Craig’s neighbor has an

affair with a preacher. His sisters friend sleeps around to get drugs.

Smokey puts the moves on anything in a skirt. To so blatantly condone this

kind of behavior is repuls

e. With the rampant spread of the Aids virus and other sexually transmitted

diseases anyone with common sense would know better than to behave in this

manner. Unwanted pregnancies and the abortion rate or serious issues that

should also be considered.

Craig seemed to have a loving and supportive family. His dad was a real

trip. His ideas about how to handle certain situations were a bit

far-fetched, but he meant well. Because there was no indication of what age

the kids in the movie were, it’s ha

to comment on how the parents should have advised their kids. I do know

that quite a few of the kids’ actions were questionable, even illegal. For

example, if these kids were minors they would all be considered unruly.

Unruliness is an offense that

ly a minor can commit (Fessler 105). All the kids in the movie were

disobedient, smoked pot and acted in ways their parents should have been

responsible to control. Both of Craig’s parents worked, which left the kids

unsupervised the majority of the t

e. Some of the parents in the movie also set terrible examples for their

kids. Smokey’s mom locked him out of the house so she could have sex with

her male friends. She also got high and disregarded her parental

responsibility to her kids.

Although the area where Craig and his friends lived didn’t look like what we

might picture a ghetto to look like in our minds, it was still a ghetto.

Poverty and other social issues make it what it is…….a very depressing

and frustrating place to l

e. Because of all the negative ways of life including crime, violence,

gangs, drugs and all the other things I’ve referred to in this paper, I would

conclude this would not be the kind of lifestyle I would choose to live.

Unfortunately, many of the pe

le that live under these conditions don’t have a choice. They are most often

born into these situations or faced with dealing with them because of

financial struggle or lack of resources to change their ways of life. We can

consider ourselves fortunat

to not have to deal with these kinds of problems on a daily basis. That is

not to say that ALL people in the ghetto stay there. There are some who

work hard and get the education or training they need to escape this kind of

lifestyle. Where there’s

will there’s a way and depending on how strongly they want out, it can

happen.

All in all this movie was pretty entertaining. I wouldn’t suggest it for

kids who might be influenced in a negative way by the things that happened or

who are not mature enough to know the difference between right and wrong.

The movie does portray a

t of negative issues as being acceptable. This could be harmful to young

kids who are influenced by peer pressure and this kind of nonchalant attitude

toward breaking the law. It is up to us to determine what is okay for our

youth. Parents should de

rmine if this would be acceptable for their kids to view.

Friday is an entertaining, yet morally questionable flick. The social

issues it depicts are many. Viewing it also raised a lot of questions on how

the movie industry doesn’t care what they produce. They are interested

solely in making money. Their

ob is to entertain us. They have accomplished that with this movie. It made

me laugh, but because of this assignment it made me realize that comedy was

not the important part of seeing this movie. Realizing how people live and

relate to each other is

ritical in understanding our society on the whole. Recognizing this is how

we can begin to make positive changes to things that are wrong and improve

our lives in general.

313


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