October 3, 2007

"The Brothers"

Another old movie review from the dustiest corner of my cyberattic:

Mar. 23, 2001 (UPI) -- The success of "Waiting to Exhale" revealed there was a sizable market for movies about upper middle class African American women frustrated by the difficulty of finding and hanging onto black men who make at least as much money as they do. The new romantic comedy-drama "The Brothers" shows us the flip side of this demographic imbalance.

Life is sweet for four affluent black men who enjoy an abundance of willing women, black and white. Yet, when the handsomest of the four announces he's settling down and getting married, his friends have to reconsider whether that old joke - Why buy the cow when you can get all milk you want through the fence? - offers a fully satisfying philosophy of life.

Much of the movie consists of good-looking guys talking to each other about their relationships with women. Female viewers seem to love this kind of stuff. In soap operas, men are always having heart to heart talks about the women in their lives - "So, Josh, how are things between you and Heather?" - although not on any actual planet in the known universe.

Ladies, I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but what men really talk about when they're alone together is whether they should switch to those new solid core golf balls.

So, I don't think the men of America are going to turn out in droves for a movie with no explosions, nudity, guns, or even much rap music on the soundtrack. (It's a mild "R" for a lot of raunchy conversations. There's one fight, kartoon karate-style.) Still, the fellows who get dragged by their women to see "The Brothers" are probably going to enjoy themselves more than they expected. The heart-to-hearts chats are intermingled with enough quite funny comedy scenes to keep most guys from sneaking out of the theatre to see if "Exit Wounds" is playing somewhere else in the multiplex.

Stand up comic D.L. Hughley (star of UPN's "The Hughleys" sit-com) provides excellent comic relief as the short married guy amidst all the tall, dark, and handsome bachelors. A very funny Tamala Jones plays his wife. She's got a round face with bulging round eyes, perfect for her role as a sort of black Betty Boop.

Comedian Bill Bellamy portrays the only one of the friends who has had to rise up out of the ghetto. He's given up on black women because he believes white women are less feisty, more happy to make him a sandwich without a lot of backtalk. Being from the old school, he fears that all this talk of settling down will break the "the brothers" apart.

Soap opera star Shemar Moore ("The Young & The Restless") is the ex-man about town who wants his friends to support his decision to marry. Moore, who closely resembles the L.A. Lakers forward and part-time actor Rick Fox, is an extraordinarily good-looking man of mixed black and white descent. In the looks department, he must have lucked into getting the best genes from both races.

Morris Chestnut (the groom in "The Best Man," another black yuppie comedy-drama, and the tragic high school football star in "Boyz N the Hood") radiates huge waves of sincerity and earnestness in the most important role as the good-hearted pediatrician from a wealthy family who feels guilty over breaking so many women's hearts.

Movies like "Hannibal" that portray the glamour of evil can certainly do well at the box office. Yet, there also can be a glamour to goodness. Chestnut embodies that in his character: a wealthy, striking-looking man who could have as many women as he wants, but instead wants to do the right thing by just one woman.

Gary Hardwick, who wrote and directed "The Brothers," is an impressive man. Born into a working class family of 12 children, he made himself a lawyer, stand-up comic, and published novelist before trying his hand at filmmaking.

"The Brothers" is representative of a welcome mini-genre of non-violent movies about wealthy blacks in love and lust. It stretches at least as far back as Eddie Murphy's delightful "Boomerang" from 1992.

Non-blacks watching these "buppie" movies, however, may not understand why the male characters tend to have the upper hand in romance. In the black middle class mating market, the supply and demand balance is sharply skewed in favor of men. Today, there are simply far more black middle class single women than there are eligible black bachelors. For example, in graduate schools, black women outnumber black men by 80%.

Also, marriages to white women drain off a small but noticeable fraction of the most successful black men. According to the 1990 Census, a black man was 2.5 times more likely to be married to a white woman than a black woman was likely to be married to a white man.

That's why the only fight in "The Brothers" is between a beautiful black lady judge who is stalking Bellamy because he had dumped her and Bellamy's new blonde girlfriend. By the time the happy ending rolls around, however, a reformed Bellamy has learned to pass up blondes in favor of hitting only on black women. A movie with a white cast that took a similar stand against interracial dating would be barbecued alive, of course. Yet, considering the demographic odds they must endure, it's hard to criticize the black women who will cheer this scene.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

14 comments:

Bill said...

I know some working-class white guys who fall into essentially the same game. Where I live, perhaps surprisingly to some, young, working-class small businessmen earn about the same as better-educated young men.

The main difference between the two groups is masculinity, which is enhanced by manual labor. So these young guys who are making good money laying concrete with gangs of Mexicans go to the bars and steal the show. Unfortunately, they waste their time drifting from one woman to another, which spoils things for everyone in the long run.

As a married man, I'm out of the game (thankfully), but I see what's going on, and I wish it weren't so. A lot of the blame has to go to feminism. Gender roles have been mixed up to the point where men are no longer necessary for subsistence, so what you see is an Africanization of the dating scene here. Men no longer have any sense of responsibility toward women, and women no longer look for dependability in men. I guess it's fun if you want to get some action on a Saturday night, but relationships are not fruitful in the traditional sense.

When I was growing up I worked with a lot of blue-collar types, and I still relate to them better in many ways, but the traditions that held working-class families together during my grandparents' generation are totally gone.

This isn't just a black problem; white men are seriously outnumbered by white women in college as well. This is a dysfunctional setup, because women who are better educated have a harder time settling down with typical men (some college), whereas women with "some college" education often end up with total cads.

In the meanwhile, hard-working white-collar type men go for years and years before finally finding some overeducated 30-something woman who wants to settle down and marry them, and then they're lucky to have even two kids.

I'm not big into eugenics, but for those of you who are, this can't be a promising trend.

Anonymous said...

"Ladies, I'm sorry to have to break this to you, but what men really talk about when they're alone together is whether they should switch to those new solid core golf balls."

We know that as well as we know people don't really come back from the dead as they do in those same shows.

simon newman said...

I'm from an academic family but I reckon I'll encourage my son to marry young, have a good number of kids, and not be so concerned about his wife's professional status. At least in the American South mid twenties is still considered 'old' for first marriage, so you get twenty-something educated women keen to marry and start child-rearing.

When my wife and I got married in rural Tennessee in '97 she had just turned 27, many people assumed it must be her second marriage. Conversely, her friend moved to San Francisco and ten years later is deperate to marry and have children while there's still time.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
You really made me want to see this movie and I'm white. What a good review and your last perspective is original, too.

I've been married for awhile and I see the same thing as Bill. My brother, who has a perfectly average I.Q. of exactly 100, had a much, much smarter "teacher of year", literally, who fell very much in love with him. Her biological clock was ticking badly, but she just wasn't hot enough for him which caused the rest of us to rip our hair out. Currently, a friend couple of his, the guy is an engineer and his wife is a doctor, are trying to set him up with a woman who is near thirty and almost done with dental school.

In my brother's defense, he has good genes. He was born prematurely due to my mom's Asherman's syndrome (Mine, my father's, and my mother's I.Q. are in the 130's-140's, as are all their brothers and sisters). So, I don't think very highly of John Derbyshire's "abortion is good for society" argument.

Josh said...

Well sir,this movie made about $27.5 million--I guess thats pretty good,all things considered;but I dont hear talk of Brothers II coming out. Maybe they should have had Morgan Freeman as the wise old guy who can give them advice! :D "You,"he'd probably say,"cant afford me." The movie's sermon on stickin' with your own is fine by me! I would love a white-oriented movie that had the guts to offer such a message.Why would that be any less legitimate than the reverse-a film that applauded interracial mixing? And ,yes,as a white male the way blacks talk about white women as some kind of fallback device,or as their entitlement disgusts me and creeps me out! I guess I am evil! As for "Bill's" comment (above) on the downward trend in relationships--I love the term "Africanization"--I think he is being a bit pessimistic and broad in his judgement about "gender roles"--in my day we called 'em "sex roles"--but his comments about the education gap are interesting.Why is that happening? My theory that feminism--hatred of men-is deliberately trying to thwart the educational attainmnets of males,especially WHITE MALES.Males are more intelligent than females,tho not by a whole lot,but the attack on male education is badly hurting our society.The reign of the Feminist Idiots is upon us.

Byrdeye said...

"Gender roles have been mixed up to the point where men are no longer necessary for subsistence, so what you see is an Africanization of the dating scene here. Men no longer have any sense of responsibility toward women, and women no longer look for dependability in men."

Good point. Our culture is indeed "Africanizing" towards the r-type mating strategy. The end results of which can be seen...in Africa. :)

Anonymous said...

Steve,

You are not taking account of recent research that shows, definitively, that we are descended from twice as many females as males.

That means, that even for whites, more than 50% of males are worthless to all females. Well, they might only being used as a meal ticket.

Also, why the sympathy for black women? Spare a thought for the black men who will never get a woman and often end up dead ...

Anonymous said...

... white men are seriously outnumbered by white women in college as well. This is a dysfunctional setup, because women who are better educated have a harder time settling down with typical men (some college) ...

And what has college itself become as a result of women outnumbering men? What has happened to the value of a college degree? In other words, what are females [as a group] doing to academia?

Females, in the entire recorded history of civilization, have never assembled to produce an institution that puts a premium on free intellectual inquiry. That has never happened. Females (as a group) simply do not place free intellectual inquiry high on the list of priorities. That has manifested on campus today, obviously, in any field dominated by females.

When stuff never, ever happens on planet earth the likely cause is biological. And here we see the fundamental differences in gender produce the radically different male and female social structures. Female communities are driven by consensus. Compared to males, females are much more obsessed with reading cues from other females as to what is acceptable, as to what is normal, as to what is possible. That dynamic will produce a significantly more stifling intellectual environment than the male version every time.

The bottom line is that all societies whose academic institutions become female dominated will innovate less, will discover less and will achieve less i.e. matriarchy collapses a civilization.

Anonymous said...

Bill is right and there are other data points. Not one young man felt his female classmates were worth risking dying for. That's a remarkable change. Back in say, 1962 that Choi guy would have been beaten to death eventually. He'd still have killed people but not as many.

Your other commenters are dead spot on. Women seek to maximize their power by minimizing the ability of beta-males to compete with them, turning them into either Eunuchs or gays (and this explains the female-gay alliance to crowd out straight white beta males).

Meanwhile women reward the Alpha type male with hyper aggressiveness handsomely and completely.

A LOT of the violence in the lower-income Black stratum of society is IMHO linked to the strong and completely understandable preference by Black Women for the hardest thug around. Watch Rap Videos -- the misogyny does not come out of the ether, it's produced because in a thug-on-thug competition with winner take all, even the average bad boy loses. Only the hardest need apply.

Women, particularly Black women, made their own beds. The Black female preference for thugs reliably produces almost no educated Black men, comparatively.

Hard working white collar types who end up late in life maybe with some partner who's manifestly made them their last not first choice are going to form a habit of being manifestly rejected for not having enough "thug" qualities. They also won't be (naturally) very invested in their partner either. No one likes being the last choice. Moreover a habit, made during a lifetime, of lack of any connection to women and regular rejection produces ... misogyny.

Rap's popularity Steve among white males, particularly white male teens, is both the misogyny (since no one likes to lose) and the thuggishness that women prefer. Women chose aggression and social dominance over everything else (Bill is 100% correct on that) because they CAN (they aren't forced to trade off on reliability/decency etc.)

Net result: women will get in the next generation thugs. In this generation they won't get "loveable losers" like Seth Rogan in Knocked Up. But rather overt, and constant misogyny. What, women will continue to not sleep with them? Wow there is a threat.

The anonymity of the ballot box makes this a no-brainer (i.e. women can't retaliate at the workplace).

Anonymous said...

Oops I meant to say, not one young man at VT felt his classmates were worth risking dying for. Remarkable.

Jeff said...

Bill- what kinds of women are going for these blue-collar contruction types?

Essentially, the points here are correct that the dating scene has worsened considerably for average white men, i.e., the people that get things done in this country. They form a large sleeping giant now waking up. The question is now, what will we do about it? Sit back and take it, or take action in some way?

And I certainly believe no stranger is worth my life. Women gave up chivalry when they decided to screw most men over.

Anonymous said...

"This isn't just a black problem; white men are seriously outnumbered by white women in college as well. This is a dysfunctional setup, because women who are better educated have a harder time settling down with typical men (some college), whereas women with "some college" education often end up with total cads. "

There are reasons for this that don't have to do with feminism or being over-educated. The truth is college education doesn't necessarily get a person a job with a higher salary. The guys you're talking about figured this out. I think many women, however, go to college for the experience and to be considered educated when they are finished. The practicallity is only considered secondarily if at all. Such women may not even be suitable mates for your small businessmen.

Who knows, what we're seeing with so many people marrying outside their race may actually be a move toward marrying someone who has a more similar personality type. In my case, I guarantee that most of your blue collar type white guys would be annoyed with me after a short period of time unless I was hot enough to distract them from what they would consider my inane attempts at conversation. (Although the personality mismatch doesn't seem to be as great for me with European men, the wide gulf between my political beliefs and most of theirs dashed my hopes almost instantly. : ( . Has life ever been fair?)

Look again at who your blue collar friends tend to date. I had my heart broken by an intelligent blue collar guy who went from either extreme, a babe who didn't have to have a personality to a rather rough looking woman who was what I considered a guy chick, less feminine but had similar interests to him. My falling in between the two extremes, I barely registered as a human to him. I'm not even sure why he went out with me in the first place. So, while I know you guys hate PERSONALITY, I'm not certain it can be ignored in a discussion of attraction between the sexes.

And as to the inevitable discussion of alpha vs beta males, most of the guys I've dated have been what you guys consider betas. I don't like hypercritical alpha males. This isn't unique to me. The more educated a woman is, the less likely she is to take kindly to some guy who really doesn't know any more than she does bossing her around.

Bill said...

Seems this thread struck a chord.

People are obviously frustrated by the mating game these days, but sometimes I suspect this was always the case. The difference today, I think, is the lack of necessity. Men don't need women and women don't need men as much as they used to. It isn't clear how this will play out, but it does appear that people who gravitate toward more traditional families tend to have more children in the long-run, which would suggest that gender-roles aren't going to disappear anytime soon.

Jeff asked:

Bill- what kinds of women are going for these blue-collar contruction types?

In my experience, all sorts. Just off the top of my head I can think of an immigration lawyer (unforgettably well-built, BTW), several office workers, and a professor.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad choice for these women, but the problem is that men have plenty of options if they are good-looking, young and not bound by any particular moral code. To be honest about my experience, it took an extended period in a foreign and very sexually chaotic culture to steer me toward a more conservative philosophy (go ahead and call me reactionary).

Anon, a woman, says:

In my case, I guarantee that most of your blue collar type white guys would be annoyed with me after a short period of time unless I was hot enough to distract them from what they would consider my inane attempts at conversation. (Although the personality mismatch doesn't seem to be as great for me with European men, the wide gulf between my political beliefs and most of theirs dashed my hopes almost instantly. : ( . Has life ever been fair?)

Turned off by your political views? Unless you have antagonistic, anti-male views I don't think most men will be that critical. They may not necessarily be interested, but the women in my life have not generally cared too much about my pet issues, and that didn't cause big problems. Heck, I've even converted a few of them.

Anon also says:

The truth is college education doesn't necessarily get a person a job with a higher salary.

Yes, this is very true. And rightly so, considering what one gets out of college these days. I have said before, and I will say again, that college is only valuable for accreditation, and fortunately that is only required in niche occupations such as physician, attorney, etc. One problem here in the Pac. NW is that accreditation in my current field is only easily-obtained in Microsoft proprietary systems, which are not any better (worse IMO) than open-source solutions for my purposes, so it is essentially a waste of money. I do recommend auditing classes, however, if you are genuinely curious about certain disciplines, and if you want to be an academic go through all the steps by all means -- we do need more young American professors.

One of the benefits of college - probably the most important one in the minds of parents of girls - is the large pool of pre-selected potential mates. Lord forbid your daughter marries some lawless biker/redneck type!

The problem with that is that a lot of studious guys are not very good at talking themselves into girls' dorms. This is kind of surprising, considering how open to advances college-aged women are.

But one thing that frustrates me to no end is hearing young guys with good prospects complain that they can't meet a decent girl in the city. Well then drive a few miles, moron! Every time I go out to the rural areas around here I see beautiful, humble, capable young women and it hurts me to know that I can't make a go at it when I see them.

In one of these towns near Seattle, only 10 miles from the city limits, some jerk tried to change a local café into a "Hooters" type establishment (brings Idiocracy to mind) where the girls would wear bikini tops and lingerie, so all the girls quit! Beautiful, honorable, conservative young women are all over the place. If the girls in the city had that kind of fortitude, then my buddies would shape up, settle down and become satisfied husbands.

Another pet peeve of mine is this "alpha male" thing. Do you people know what the term comes from? It comes from studies of wolves and gorillas and denotes the patriarch of a family unit. All fathers with their own pack (family) and sole access to the main fertile female are "alpha males." Unattached men, regardless of how good they are at "hooking up" on the side, are betas, biologically speaking. When guys call themselves "alpha males" I develop a sudden urge to cut them down to size, and when guys call themselves "betas" I want to shake them and tell them to quit making self-fulfilling predictions. All men can be alpha males if they care enough and meet certain basic needs.

Anonymous said...

"When guys call themselves "alpha males" I develop a sudden urge to cut them down to size, and when guys call themselves "betas" I want to shake them and tell them to quit making self-fulfilling predictions. All men can be alpha males if they care enough and meet certain basic needs."

I'm glad you made an effort to clarify the term "alpha male". What people here are describing is more a pathological personality type. I'd label it something like antisocial personality disorder. The worst outcome is a guy who beats a woman. Though some women may go for these aggressive males, I in no way think it's the norm. A secure male doesn't need to control a woman by finding fault or intimidating her so you very appropriately call this type of guy the "alpha male".