Movies

Hav Plenty Christopher Scott Cherot, the writer, producer, director, editor, and star of Hav Plenty (Miramax), is also the chief (and ...Hav PlentyRomance, Comedy, DramaR Christopher Scott Cherot, the writer, producer, director, editor, and star of Hav Plenty (Miramax), is also the chief (and ...1998-06-26
B+

Hav Plenty

Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama; Starring: Chenoa Maxwell, Christopher Scott Cherot; Status: In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season

Christopher Scott Cherot, the writer, producer, director, editor, and star of Hav Plenty (Miramax), is also the chief (and considerable) source of charm in this jaunty, loosely stitched African-American love comedy. The 30-year-old may be new to the movie game, but he announces himself with such confidence and force of personality, you know a noteworthy talent has arrived.

Cherot owes a lot to the movie conventions of Woody Allen—he talks directly to the audience, he posits himself as a sort of artlessly appealing nebbish, and at one point, in a brash homage to/theft of Annie Hall, there’s even a film-within-the-film scene with actors recreating a romantic tangle we’ve just witnessed. But Cherot favors droll knowledge of his own buppie world over hyper-analytic neurosis. And he comes up with a fresh take on the still underdeveloped movie territory Waiting to Exhale definitively proved is ripe for tilling: middle-class black romance.

Cherot plays Lee Plenty, a would-be novelist with no particular address who falls hard for well-to-do, hard-to-get Havilland Savage (newcomer Chenoa Maxwell). Plenty has trouble making headway with the object of his affection (for one thing, she’s already got a fiance). Meanwhile, he connects with the rest of Hav’s crowd, including her grandma (Betty Vaughn), her married sister (Robinne Lee), and her vampish, hot-for-Plenty girlfriend (Tammi Katherine Jones). “Nancy! Sluggo! Elvira!” is how he greets Hav’s sister, brother-in-law, and pal. Clearly Cherot has put his pop-cultural scholarship to good use. B+

Originally posted June 26 1998 — 12:00 AM EDT

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