Morris From America is a pleasant enough story about a young man with rap inspirations newly relocated to Germany; his father’s job brought them there. Morris (Markees Christmas) and his father Curtis (Craig Robinson) navigate a new school, Morris’ relationship with his counselor Inka (Carla Juri), and his relationship with Lina Keller, a young German girl that goes to Morris’ school.
Curtis is a level headed father who can be stern with his son, but also fair by tapping into his own personal experiences from his past. Not once did Craig Robinson fall back on his comedy smarts from his stint on the television show The Office. Having a chance to show off some real acting chops he needs at this point in his career. I like Craig Robinson, just not in Hot Tub Time Machine mode.
The characters were the best thing about the film. I became vested in each, wanting to see how they all played out. The story was interesting enough, enough to get my butt in that seat!
The film deals with topics of being an outcast, humiliation, coming of age, and falling in love for the first time. They’re dealt with in different and sensitive ways, humorously at times.
The soundtrack was terrific taking from 80’s hip hop and prompting Curtis to tell his son ‘this is real rap son’.
After the film, Director/Screenwriter Chad Hartigan and some of the other cast and crew came on stage for some Q&A. I raised my hand and was taken as the first question. “How do I get the soundtrack?!”
The sound guy, who happened to be onstage reached into his pocket and threw a cassette tape with a hand drawn cover on it. “There you go!”
And that summed up how I felt about Morris From America. It asked questions and provided answers. Nothing too flashy, but they throw you a soundtrack.
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