I’m a big Moms Mabley fan. I grew up listening to her albums and know way to many of her bits by heart. Sometimes she reminds me of my late maternal grandmother.
This light-hearted comedy, follows Grace T Grimes (Mabley) an elderly woman that Welton Water (Moses Gunn), mayoral candidate has the misfortune of being the neighbor of. When Grace and her newly acquired friend, Forthwith Wilson (Slappy White) overhear Waters shady plans and reasons for running for mayor they take action. Although not exactly for the same reasons.
The themes of people power and black advancement are pretty heavy handed. You don’t have to look for them they are smacking you in the face. But with this movie now being almost 40 years old some of the subtler parts may be missed by a generation not familiar with some of their actors and previous roles. Particularly the cameo performances of Stepin Fetchit and Butterfly McQueen, who is most famously know for the role of Prissy in Gone with the Wind. Two actors who received much criticism for the roles they played. But in this movie it feels that there cameo roles (particularly Fetchit’s mostly special appearance) is this films way of appreciating the road they paved in Hollywood for other black actors.
Amazing Grace is not the best movie in the world, in fact the first twenty minutes had me debating whether or not turn it off and find something else. By the end though it becomes a pretty uplifting story of change and determination, especially when you set it in the proper historical context.