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'Taxi' an instant American classic

photo courtesy of 20th century fox
A revolution in the comedic arts has arrived and its name is 'Taxi.' Sorry kids, no Tony Danza or Andy Kaufman, just Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah.
By Celeste Meiffren
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 14, 2004
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Not since "Citizen Kane" has a movie so greatly impacted the American psyche. "Taxi" has burst onto the scene, forever changing the scope, impact and prestige of America cinema.

The crux of this brilliant cinematic achievement is its story. "Taxi" follows the lives of two very different people crossing paths and coming together for a single cause. It's about setting aside differences for the greater good. It's about friendship and loyalty. It's about sex and cars. And it will change your life.

Belle Williams - played by the extremely talented Queen Latifah - is a cab driver in New York City. She has big city dreams of one day becoming a racecar champion. Her struggle with speeding and the law has a lot to do with her troubled childhood and her inability to make real friends. The movie doesn't say that, but truly great films make such inferences in order to deepen the characters.


10 out of 10

20th Century Fox
Rated: PG-13
100 min.
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One day, policeman Andy Washburn - played by the fiercely brilliant Jimmy Fallon - enters her cab and changes her life forever. Since his license was revoked due to a car crash that killed a parrot, Washburn decided to take a cab to a crime scene. The crime: bank robbery. The perpetrator: supermodel Gisele BŁndchen. The plausibility is what makes this movie so brilliant.

Gisele BŁndchen, despite her handicap (being a supermodel), was still able to kind of convey her character. I was completely convinced that she was Brazilian and pretty. Anyone who says different must have seen a different movie, because she was very attractive as a Brazilian supermod - I mean bank robber.

Washburn and Williams go on a sort of cat-and-mouse pursuit of said supermodel. Washburn just wants to prove that he's not a fuck-up. And Williams just likes the idea of being able to break traffic laws. You can really understand the characters and their motivations. It's so intimate that it's like being in bed with them.

The ambience of the film is created through the great tunes. There is a nice mixture of classic R&B like "This Will Be" by Natalie Cole, and new hip hop like "Rock Star" by N.E.R.D. You really don't mind that great songs are played in this movie. Of all movies, they just have to be in this one. Don't fear - these terrific songs will be riding the "Taxi" wave. Nothing bad can come of it.

I have heard so many critics condemn Jimmy Fallon for leaving "Saturday Night Live." Personally, I think it's inspiring. He's basically saying, "I'm going to go my own way. I'm going to fall on my ass for sure, but at least it will be on my terms. And screw you if you can't handle it." Powerful.

The number one way to make a lot of money in the box office is by being in a movie with Queen Latifah. Fallon isn't being naÔve. He's being smart. And it's going to make him filthy, filthy rich.

With so many horrendous movies coming out nowadays like "Eternal Sunshine," "Motorcycle Diaries" and "Brown Bunny," it's refreshing to have a supremely well done movie to go see. At least its not foreign or "artsy" or unique. That stuff is for losers. "Taxi" provides the alternative.

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