Jay Pharaoh
Picture of Derrick Dunn

Derrick Dunn

2 Minutes of Fame is worth 95 mins of your time

Comedian and voice impressionist Jay Pharaoh makes his feature film headlining debut in Codeblack Entertainment’s 2 Minutes of Fame from director Leslie Small. Pharaoh portrays Deandre McDonald, a struggling comic looking for his next big break. Sky (KeKe Palmer) Deandre’s girlfriend and mother of his son would like him the budding comic to take grow up and find a real job.

Deandre spends his days working in a grocery store with his best friend/manager Eddie (RonReaco Lee). After Deandre goes viral after making a movie review of superstar comic Marques Black (Katt Williams) latest film, Secret Service Man, Deandre and Eddie decide to head to Los Angles.

Once in L.A., so can Deandre can compete in a comedy competition. The duo has to compete with the other comics and attempt to stay one step ahead of Marques Black and his manager Nico (Deon Cole). Deandre also has to avoid the temptations of female comic Taylor (Andy Allo). 

Television writers Devon Shepard& Yamara Taylor make their feature writing debut with 2 Minutes of Fame. The duo’s script is a fast-paced tale that never overstays its welcome and tells a story that anyone looking to break into show business can relate to. The arc the writers give Deandre is a straight-laced one and speaks volumes on the current climate of comedy and how quickly one acquires.

Anyone can make a video doing outlandish things for likes and shares to get laughs, but to successfully tell a joke requires timing and is an art. I also commend the writers for not making Deandre an arrogant know it all. Instead, we have a talented and blessed man with the gift of gab, yet he has confidence issues. I also enjoyed seeing Eddie support his friend through thick and thin.

In terms of acting, Jay Pharaoh does a great job in his lead role. After the cancelation of his underrated show White Famous three years ago, I’ve been waiting for the comic to get another project that will showcase his talent. While Pharaoh is primarily known for his impressions, the comedian does have other skills, which he can showcase in 2 Minutes of Fame.

On the flip side, conversational comic Katt Williams, who in recent years has become more known for his off-stage antics than his comedy routines, does well as the veteran comic. Williams, who won an Emmy for his appearance on Atlanta, has a natural flair for dramatic work. There’s a moment in the film where William’s character of Marques has to play a stereotypical role. The scene speaks volumes on how comics are viewed in Hollywood and how easy it is to compromise your morals for a quick buck.

The supporting cast all provide solid work as well, with Andy Allo and KeKe Palmer standing out as the women in Deandre’s life. Comedy fans will also notice numerous cameos from the new school and old school comics. I will say that Deon Cole, who I’m a fan of, should’ve have had a more prominent part. If you’re expecting a laugh riot, then this may not be the film for you.

Nevertheless, with a charming lead performance by its lead and elements of the universal underdog story, 2 Minutes of Fame is worth the rental.

 

Final Grade B-

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