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Film / Dolemite Is My Name

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Dolemite is My Name is a 2019 comedic biopic directed by Craig Brewer and written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. It stars Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, the comedian and rapper who broke out into the world of blaxploitation with his character of Dolemite, a fast-talking, Kung Fu fighting pimp. The movie depicts Moore's early career and the production of the film centered around his character, also titled Dolemite.

The movie also stars Wesley Snipes, Keegan-Michael Key, Craig Robinson, Titus Burgess, Mike Epps, and Da’Vine Joy Randolph. It was released on Netflix on October 25 after a brief run in theaters. The trailer can be seen here.


Tropes Associated With Dolemite is My Name include:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: The filming of the Destructo-Nookie scene for the Dolamite movie goes on for so long and reaches such absurd levels that when it finally climaxes the entire cast and crew breakout into a fit of laughter. Even the director D'Urville Martin, who's barely been able to hide his contempt for how miserable the entire experience has been for him, begrudgingly admits that it was funny.
  • Artistic License – Film Production: The movie plays fast and loose with how the production of Dolemite is portrayed for the sake of pacing and Rule of Funny.
    • Scenes from both Dolemite and The Human Tornado are depicted as being filmed and edited into a single movie.
    • The entire process of post-production is skipped in favor of Moore looking for distributors, the film already complete by that point.
  • Brick Joke: in the first scene, Rudy Ray Moore tried to get the DJ at the record store where he works to play one of his R&B records and is rejected. Later, when he returns to the store after becoming a success, he asks the DJ in-character as Dolemite to play one of "his" records, and the DJ proceeds to play one of Moore's old R&B records as a joke.
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  • The Cameo: Snoop Dogg and Chris Rock as DJs, Ron Cephas Jones as the hobo who gives Rudy the inspiration for Dolemite, T.I. as a film executive who refuses to give Rudy money to make the movie and Bob Odenkirk as the head of Dimension Pictures.
  • Casting Gag: Wesley Snipes as the haughty and arrogant D'Urville Martin, an actor who's only been getting small roles in recent times.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Rudy Ray Moore was famous for his use of profanity, and this movie indulges it to a tee.
  • Culture Clash: Moore and his friends watch The Front Page in a theater filled with white audiences who greatly enjoy the movie, while they don't. This is what inspires Moore to make the movie Dolemite.
  • Deadpan Snarker: D'Urville copes with the very shabby movie production values and the lack of professionalism by snarking and throwing out Stealth Insults.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance:
    • When Moore floats the idea of recording a comedy album to his aunt, she mentions how much she loves the family-friendly comedy of Bill Cosby.
    • When Moore tries to recruit him, D'Urville Martin boasts about working with Roman Polanski.
  • Determinator: Rudy Ray Moore is middle aged, overweight, and of middling talent in practically every field he tries, be it comedy, music, dance, ect. But he is bound and determined to make something of himself, and will make himself a star through hard work and perseverance.
  • Fan Disservice: Eddie Murphy's ass is on full display when Moore does the photoshoots for the covers of his comedy albums.
  • Hypocritical Humour: Earlier in the movie, while still working at a record store, Bobby Ray Brown dismisses Redd Foxx comedy routine as not being very funny, because it's just a bunch of raunchiness. Later, this would prove to be most of his act as Dolemite.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: D'Urville starts drinking heavily by the time Moore's first Kung Fu scene is being filmed.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: One of the brief sequences of The Front Page that we see has Jack Lemmon using this trope to avoid swearing in front of a woman, to the delight of the white audience. This stands in marked contrast to the gleefully vulgar comedy that Moore's audiences enjoy.
  • Moral Guardians: Moore's comedy albums are rejected by some stores due to their raunchy content.
  • Movie-Making Mess: Dolemite was a shabby production, to say the least, and the movie shows how cheap every aspect of it is.
  • Mythology Gag: As Moore is brainstorming ideas for his new movie, he throws out a few such as his character being the devil's son-in-law and an exorcism scene since The Exorcist was big at the time. These ideas would later become the premise for the movie Petey Wheatstraw.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: Invoked by Rudy when the cast is reading the immensely negative reviews the movie received; he says such reviews would cause viewers to seek the movie out to see just how vulgar the movie could be.
  • Real-Person Epilogue: The "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue cuts back and forth between text explaining what happened after the end of the movie (Dolemite was a success) and scenes from the actual Dolemite featuring the real Rudy Ray Moore that had been replicated in the movie.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
    • D'Urville Martin in the film is haughty, arrogant and prideful, thinking of himself as a true auteur and acting talent. Others point out that he's only really been getting bit parts, and when we see him in action it's clear he's overacting his part. The only reason he's part of the production is because Rudy Ray Moore offers to let him direct the entire film.
    • Downplayed with Jerry Jones. He sees himself as a serious writer whose works involve social issues that affect African-Americans and he's initially confused by Moore's vision and ideas. But he eventually catches on and is fully on board with the production there after, even expressing pride in the final product.
  • Set Behind the Scenes: The second half of the film is all about the making of Dolemite, and much of it takes place on the set for the Show Within a Show.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Ed Wood, a previous film written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski about a notorious B-movie director.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: In-Universe
    • Jerry Jones, who sees himself as a writer whose works involve serious social issues and is flummoxed by Moore's outrageous vision for the movie (although he eventually catches on).
    • Zig-Zagged with D'Urville Martin, who knows enough about the film industry to take the process of filmmaking a lot more seriously than his collaborators, while still never being under the impression that the resulting film will be anything other than crap.
  • Write What You Know: Stated in-universe to Rudy Ray Moore, who proceeds to inject aspects of his club performer background into the plot. In addition to being a kung fu-fighting pimp, Dolemite becomes a club manager and comedy performer at odds with organized crime trying to take a cut of his business.


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