Film / Down to Earth

This 2001 comedy, directed by Chris and Paul Weitz and starring Chris Rock (who helped to write the screenplay along with Louis C.K.), is basically a remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan and Heaven Can Wait.

Lance Barton (Rock) is a black struggling standup comic. He's run over by a truck and goes to Heaven, where he's reincarnated in the body of a rich, middle-aged white man.

Some tropes found in the film include:

  • Closer to Earth: The (mostly black and/or working class) domestic staff, vs. the upper-class white characters, all of whom are pretty evil.
  • Failing a Taxi: After being brought back to life for the second time, Chris Rock's character tries to hail a taxi to test if he was reincarnated as a black man. He fails to attract a single cab, much to his delight.
  • "Freaky Friday" Flip: The premise.
  • N-Word Privileges: The main character tends to forget that he's a black man who's trapped in a white body. The first time he performs his regular comedy routine in his new body, the audience is shocked into silence. He later gets knocked out by a couple of black guys for singing N-word containing lyrics in public.
  • White Dude, Black Dude: Chris Rock as a black comedian suddenly reincarnated in the body of a wealthy old white man. This proves to be an obstacle when he tries to win audiences over with his trademark racially-based comedy.