Friday is an urban comedy that depicts a single day in the life of Craig (Ice Cube), who has just been fired on his day off.
Craig's off day consists of interactions with various characters in the neighbourhood. They include his cantankerous dad (John Witherspoon); his lovable mother (Anna Maria Horsford); his sister Dana (Regina King); his spoilt girlfriend Joi (Paula Jai Parker); his love interest (Nia Long); Deebo (Tiny "Zeus" Lister Jr.) the hulking neighbourhood bully who Craig finally stands up to; Big Worm (Faizon Love) the neighbourhood gangster; and his toking friend Smokey (Chris Tucker).
There's a message in the film, and that it is better to solve confrontational issues without deadly violence (like using guns). I think the movie could've gone one step further and shown that these problems could've been solved using only brain and without any brawn. But I guess Ice Cube has to show that he is a tough guy after all.
There's not a lot that can be said about the acting, though Ice Cube and Chris Tucker present fine performances. There's not a lot to say about the plot either, except that it does indicate a radically different way in which interesting movies can be made without too high of a budget. The Ice Cube-based sound track is good. Movies like Friday have been the launching point for more sophisticated urban comedies like Blue Streak or Big Momma's House, which can do more with a bigger budget. In my view, this marks the view of a genre of movies aimed towards a particular market (and I don't necessarily mean a black audience, but rather a market that prefers things to be as "real" as possible---have you ever eaten cereal without milk?). Definitely worth renting.