'Top Five' - Movie Review

Chris Rock wrote, directed, and starred in "Top Five" in which he plays Andre Allen, a variant on himself. Andre Allen started out as a stand-up comic, moved on to Hollywood, has a hugely successful series of comedy movies, and is now a day away from the release of his first serious film - that nobody seems interested in. He's also a four-years-sober alcoholic and about to marry his reality-TV-star girlfriend (Gabrielle Union). The primary story driver is an interview with New York Times reporter Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson) that stretches across a couple days and reveals a lot about both their lives.

I think I found this less funny than perhaps I was supposed to - although it grew on me as it went along - but what made the movie work is that it's a really good study of both alcoholism and fame. Whether it's trying to be funny or not, the writing is really sharp: if you took out all the comedy, this would still be a good movie. There are tons of cameos by actors, comedians and rappers that add to the fun. Highly recommended.