It's 20 years since Ice Cube became a bona fide movie star with his comedic turn in Gary Gray's Friday. To celebrate the stoner film's anniversary, screenings of the director's cut were held on Apr. 20 in 420 theaters across the nation.
Here's the review of Friday in Reefer Movie Madness (co-written by this author):
With a nod to Cheech & Chong, the first of three Friday films came straight outta Compton - home to Southern California's hip-hop culture. Starring Ice Cube (Craig) and Chris Tucker (Smokey) as the co-leads, Gary Gray's tribute to the 'hood doesn't stray very far beyond Craig's front porch. "I'm gonna get you high today," Smokey promises, "because it's Friday and you ain't got shit to do."
Craig is recently unemployed and Smokey sells weed, but since he gets high on his own supply Smokey can't afford to pay back Big Worm (Faizon Love), who threatens them both. Between Big Worm and neighborhood bully Deebo (Tiny Lister), they have plenty to contemplate while Smokey keeps speed-rolling and inhaling joints.
Smokey: 'You're fucking up the rotation. It's puff, putf, give - puff, puff, give.'
There's a love interest too: Craig has the hots for Debbie (Nia Long), whom he defends when she sasses Deebo. Unlike the more serious Boyz N the Hood and Higher Learning, we get to see the lighter side of L.A. gangsta life in this genre-defining, must-see flick.