Girl 6 [1996]

Perhaps only Spike Lee could make a dignified yet extremely funny comedy-drama about phone sex. Theresa Randle (Bad Boys) is the title character, a hard-working actress who becomes addicted to this peculiar form of safe sex (the movie is verbal, not physical, in that department) at a high-class New York agency. Throughout the film, Girl 6 (she's unnamed beyond this) sports a dazzling array of new looks, hairstyles, and clothes. Randle radiates every step of the way. Lee even delivers on fantasy elements when Girl 6 finds herself in a send-up of blaxploitation films and a keen lampoon of The Jeffersons (the three-minute sequence is better than any planned TV-to-movie film that may come along). Revelations about Girl 6's life are brought out through her ex-husband (Isaiah Washington), who, in his very flawed but honest way, plans to reunite with her. Better yet are conversations with the next-door neighbor (Spike Lee, doing some of his best work). Solitary, experimental, with plenty of delicious cameos (including Madonna), Girl 6 is playwright Suzan-Lori Parks's first screenplay. Similar in tone to Lee's debut, She's Gotta Have It, Girl 6 also boasts an energetic mix of old and new songs by Prince and, as always with Lee, colorful camerawork. An alleyway kiss near the end is a great romantic image. --Doug Thomas

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