We all know the formula for most African American comedies filmed since "Friday" hit the big screen in 1995. Take an inner city neighborhood in any state, USA; add a main character trying to stay on the straight and narrow path; mix in a witty side kick, a peanut gallery to provide colorful commentary, and a string of off-the-wall characters randomly floating in and out of scenes; add a dash of tension, usually in the form of a neighborhood bully trying to beat up, beat down or outright take out the main character, the sidekick or both; and voila, you've got a movie. "CornerStore," which chronicles a day at a neighborhood convenience store, follows this predictable formula, but the mostly unknown cast and a fresh take on a familiar story makes this independent movie a good bet.
Set on Detroit's Six Mile Road, "CornerStore" follows Gerard Jenkins, an aspiring chef, who is stuck covering his sister's shift on his birthday at his father's convenience store. His day starts out with Jenkins being ridiculed by a trio of winos for opening the store late (they hang out at the "CornerStore" all day under homemade patio furniture commenting on everything they see.) Throughout the movie, Jenkins is visited by one colorful character after another, from the neighborhood bully, to Jenkin's current girlfriend, to Jenkin's former fling. Throughout the day, he is faced with one challenge after the another, but manages to make it to the end of his shift in one piece.
If you are from the inner city, or have spent any time there, you are sure to relate to several characters in this movie. Many are funny, likeable and bring their own little flavor to this film. The tag line for CornerStore is "a lot can happen on the corner." With Director Joe Doughrity weaving together the stories of so many different characters, at times it seems too much. But as with many communities in this country, the beauty is in the diversity of the people.
"CornerStore" takes a lighthearted look at the cornerstore of many communities. If you're looking for a feel good movie that will make you laugh out loud at times, stopping by the "CornerStore" will be well worth the trip.
"CornerStore," (1 hour 34 minutes) PG-13, will play at the AMC Stonecrest 16 for the week starting Jan. 28. Writer/Director Joe Doughrity will be present for a question and answer session after each screening on Saturday, Jan. 28, and will be available for a meet and greet 5 p.m. - 7 p.m. at JR Crickets. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/cornerstoremovie