Kindred Media Group | Release Date: July 13, 2005
5.3
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ChadS.Apr 27, 2007
When the three female leads converge in mutual incarceration, "On the Outs" succumbs to didacticism when a jail speaker lays down the rhetoric of the filmmakers to his captive audience, and more pointedly, to us, just in case we When the three female leads converge in mutual incarceration, "On the Outs" succumbs to didacticism when a jail speaker lays down the rhetoric of the filmmakers to his captive audience, and more pointedly, to us, just in case we couldn't diagnose the problem for ourselves. "It's Hard to be a Saint in the City," just ask Suzette's mother, whose daughter is an obvious victim of her environment; a good girl who is not strong-willed enough to transcend all the drugs and guns of hip-hop's Jersey, not "The Boss' " Asbury Park wonderland of 1973. "On the Outs" suggests that being feminine is detrimental for a girl(the ghetto is too patriarchial); that traditional gender assignation will get you pregnant, or hooked on drugs. Oz(Judy Marte) has a maternal side(she loves her mentally-impaired brother), but unlike Marisol(Paola Mendoza), whose daughter is taken away by the state, and Suzette(Anny Mariano), who falls in love with a gangbanger; this girl presents herself as one of the guys. Oz still ends up in prison, but the drug pusher(more readily identified as a masculine role) leaves you with the impression that she'll eventually recognize the hypocrisy of her moral outrage(against mom, against Marisol), and realize that the Statue of Liberty is indeed colorblind, even though it's harder for some socio-economic groups than others. From the Jersey shoreline, Oz can only see Lady Liberty's backside; an ass, the perfect metaphor for how America isn't the land of opportunity if you're a disadvantaged minority(or so it seems). "On the Outs" keeps it real. There are no happy endings for any of the girls, only hope. Expand
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