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'Baby Boy' N the Hood

By Desson Howe
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 29, 2001


    'Baby Boy' Tyrese Gibson, right, and Ving Rhames are two of the stars of "Baby Boy." (Columbia)
Writer-director John Singleton returns to the world, but not the same dramatic texture, of "Boyz N the Hood" with this movie.

An episodic story that hangs out with its characters, warts, expletives and all, the story's about a 20-year-old African American man named Jody (Tyrese Gibson) who has an out-of-wedlock child, an on-again-off-again relationship with Yvette (Taraji Henson), the kid's mother, and who's coasting rent-free with his mother.

The movie makes an over-long deal about Jody's immaturity and never seems to get beyond it.

But there is a lot of pleasure in the caustic relationship between Jody and Melvin (Ving Rhames). As a former con who starts courting Jody's mother and considers Jody less than a man, Rhames finds a great niche between his trademark menace and deadpan comedy.

But as another ex-con, Yvette's ex, who becomes a romantic rival for Yvette's attention, Snoop Dogg feels like little more than a wildcard guest.

"Baby Boy" (R, 129 minutes) – Contains obscenity, drug use, sexual scenes and nudity. Area theaters.


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Video: Producer-director John Singleton and actress Taraji Henson

Live Online Discussion: Singleton and Henson

Ving Rhames filmography

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