This all-singing all-dancing look at African-American LGBT culture is a bewildering exploitation flick.
"You do know she has a penis, don't you?"
At times it's hard to know exactly who does have a penis in TV director Sheldon Larry's ultra-androgynous urban musical. But it's not worth getting caught up in the minor details. Not when there's an undercurrent of thorny social issues – ranging from homophobia to lower-class youth delinquency – to focus on.
That's what Leave it on the Floor initially leads you to believe, at least. What's been packaged as Jennie Livingston's insightful 1990 documentary, Paris is Burning, updated for the Step Up generation, however, is essentially a 90-minute pop video fleshed out with a tedious coming-of-age/love triangle narrative penned in glittery ink by screenwriter Glenn Gaylord (sic).
Even if the film was to take the education of those ignorant towards contemporary African-American LGBT culture seriously, it would be fatally undermined by some of the most offensive gay stereotyping you will ever see, namely the inherently exploitative caricaturing of its sassiest protagonists, Princess Eminence and Queef Latifah.
Shamefully, the film's sociopolitical message is buried deep between the lines of a barrage of crap tunes – anti-suicide slow jam 'Don't Jump' and rap ballad 'Black Love' are the pick of a rotten bunch – and kooky queer catchphrases. Like 'glistening'. You know, gay listening: When you're talking to one man and you see another over his shoulder, and you're not really paying attention to what the first man has to say.
No? Us neither.
High School Musical: Ghetto Fabulous Edition.
Loud, proud and very, very dumb.
A bewildering exploitation flick that will probably end up with a dedicated cult following.