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Film / Crooklyn

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Crooklyn is a 1994 film by Spike Lee, which takes place during 1973 in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The primary characters are nine-year-old Troy (Zelda Harris) and her family. Over the film's course, Troy learns life lessons through her four rowdy brothers, mother, and father, along with many others.

Tropes for Crooklyn:

  • A-Cup Angst: Troy has a mild case of this. This is emphasized a bit more when Song gifts a training bra before commenting, "Oh, you're not going need that for a long time."
  • Awful Truth: Troy finding out her mother is sick with cancer and she asks, "Why didn't anyone tell me?"
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Clinton angrily says "I'd rather have a father than a mother any day." Later on...
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Puta" is Spanish for "Whore"
  • The Bully: Peanut is the main bully and she does pick on Troy, even stealing groceries from the latter.
  • The Cameo: Ru Paul as the convenience store drag queen.
  • Cranky Neighbor: Tony Eyes isn't just cranky, he's annoying and a pretty lousy neighbor overall.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: A gender-flipped and downplayed example, with Tony Eyes, as he has more than a couple of dogs living with him in a rather small apartment. However, unlike most examples, he's very unpleasant.
  • Dreadful Musician: Apparently, Tommy La-La, according to the Carmichaels, but he teeters more on Hollywood Tone-Deaf. Also Tony Eyes but his case is a bit more obvious .
  • Epistolary: Some parts of the story are narrated by Carolyn's letters
  • Fish-Eye Lens: The whole episode at Aunt Song's is filmed in this manner, to capture the surreal feeling Troy haves about this upscale suburb living.
  • Gender-Blender Name: The only girl in the Carmichael family is named Troy. This has even earned her the nickname "Troy the Boy" by many of the boys, which is the definition of this very trope.
  • Gratuitous Spanish: Briefly, with Minnie and the bodega owner. We don't know what they said but we do know it was an argument
  • Happily Adopted: Subverted, as Viola doesn't much care for her adoptive mother, Song.
  • Ironic Name: Peanut is noted to be a big girl and she is.
  • Jerkass: There's plenty.
    • Clinton is not only selfish, he picks on his siblings quite a lot. Wendell can have his moments too and he's the little brother.
    • Tony Eyes is a bitter, unpleasant jerk.
    • Snuffy and Right Hand Man terrorize the neighborhood when they aren't high (or, at times, when they are).
    • Peanut and Greg both are bullies who make life difficult for Troy.
  • Killed Offscreen: We don't see Carolyn's death, just the aftermath.
  • Mr. Muffykins: Aunt Song's dog Queenie
  • Painting the Medium: Scenes taking place down south are vertically stretched like widescreen through a standard lens, which is supposed to make the setting feel as weird and alien to the audience as it does to Troy.
  • Perpetual Poverty: The family is often down, but not out. But barely not out. Carolyn is a school teacher who is overworked and underpaid, and Woody is a classical pianist and composer who doesn't want to compromise his artistry and play more marketable music. This causes a lot of friction between the couple.
  • Pet the Dog: After being a total dick for most of the movie, Clinton holds his sister's hand to comfort her at their mother's funeral.
  • Promoted to Parent: Troy, after Carolyn's death, elevates herself up to maternal figure, especially due to being the only girl child.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Woody and Carolyn's relationship could be summed up as this, as most of what we see them do is argue, though they do have loving moments (i.e, Woody and Carolyn going on a date)
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Vic and he's prone to violent outburst along with being afraid the dark.
  • Talk to the Fist: Vic wallops Tony Eyes when Tony won't stop screaming in his face... when all Vic was trying to do was get everyone to calm down.
  • Those Two Guys: Snuffy and Right Hand, who are not seen separately.
  • The '70s: Takes place mostly in the summer of 1973.
  • The Stoner: Snuffy and Right Hand, who are often seen huffing glue.
  • Tomboyish Name: Troy's. Somewhat fitting as she is a tomboy.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Troy's best friend Minnie isn't seen again after a brief appearance in Troy’s visualization of Carolyn’s letter.