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Top Five

JESSICA NGBOR | 12/29/2014, 3:09 a.m.
Top Five is a romantic comedy, starring, written and directed by Chris Rock. The film features many talented comedians, actors ...
Scene from Top Five Screenshots taken from Paramount Pictures video clips

The Dallas Examiner

Top Five is a romantic comedy, starring, written and directed by Chris Rock. The film features many talented comedians, actors and actresses; including Rosario Dawson, Cedric the Entertainer, Tracy Morgan, Gabrielle Union, Kevin Hart, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd and many more. It was released in theaters last Friday and it is guaranteed to have you crying from laughter.

Rock plays Andre Allen, a recovering alcoholic who initiated his career in stand-up. His breakthrough role as Hammy, in Hammy the Bear – followed by Hammy the Bear 2 and Hammy the Bear 3 – is what he is best known for. But, despite being listed as “The funniest man in the world” by Time magazine, Allen doesn’t feel “funny” anymore and wants people to take him seriously as he promotes his new film, Uprise, which is about the Haitian Revolution. Yet, breaking his image as Hammy may be more difficult than he imagined.

In one scene, Allen is being interviewed at a university where the reporter inquires about a Hammy sequel instead of focusing on his new film. He also recalls a New York Times reporter, by the name of James Nielson, writing an article that stated the reporter wouldn’t watch another one of Allen’s movies even if it was playing in his glasses. He talked to his bodyguard (Smoove) about this and how he doesn’t want to do the interview with The New York Times because they always cut him down.

But Allen’s biggest hurdle could turn out to be his best chance at being taken seriously. New York Times reporter Chelsea Brown (Dawson) convinces Allen to let her interview him. The interview forces him to face the ups and downs of his past and his career.

They end up at her place before the interview begins. Brown’s mother tells Allen that she is a cougar, and has had a hard time attracting younger men.

Brown calls into question his engagement to reality television star Erica Long (Union), a glamorous Bravo star who loves attention and makes sure everything important is caught on camera – including their relationship.

Brown also inquires about Allen’s alcohol abuse, and asks him to explain his lowest point. He flashes back to a night in Houston, when Jazzy Dee (Cedric the Entertainer), an old school Southern rapper, tries to help Allen get to the next level, but instead gets him caught up in scandalous legal troubles. Afterward, Allen claims he never had another drink.

Later, Brown and Allen arrive at the residence of one of his childhood friends where they joke around and discuss their top five favorite rappers. Brown interviews each of them to get the scoop on the actor. Allen’s ex-girlfriend (Shepherd) admits she regrets breaking up with him and still tries to cling to him when he is around.

Brown follows Allen around to his numerous appearances and other interviews as he promotes his film. At their last stop, Brown learns devastating news about her boyfriend. In a shocking twist, after Allen attempts to comfort Brown, he learns of a secret that she has been hiding the whole time. The revelation catches him off-guard and he refuses to talk to her any further.