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Film / The Players Club

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The Players Club is a 1998 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Ice Cube, about a young girl named Diana who starts working as a dancer in a strip club and tries to overcome the difficulties of this new life while finishing her education.

This film provides examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: John Amos plays Officer Freeman. L'il man, one guy he arrests, asks him, "You — have anybody ever told you you look just like the father from Good Times?"
  • And This Is for...: Diana to Ronnie at the end of their fight:
    Diana: That's for Ebony! (punch) That's for me! (kick)
  • Asshole Victim: Dollar Bill. after Ronnie, Trix and Junior get carried away by the police, St. Louis and his goons invade the club, blow it up and kidnap Bill, presumably to kill him. They may be mobsters, but we're clearly not supposed to feel sorry for Dollar Bill.
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  • Attempted Rape: Ronnie, who attempted to rape Diana when they were alone in the changing room at one point. We're shown later that this is a second attempt after Ronnie's successful rape attempt when Diana was passed out drunk at a private show.
  • The Aggressive Drug Dealer: St. Louis, though it isn't drugs he wants payment for from Dollar Bill.
  • Because I Said So: The justification Diana's mom uses when she demands that Diana stop Ebony from working at the Player's Club
  • Berserker Tears: Diana sheds some of these when she chases her cheating boyfriend Lance out of the apartment with a Hand Cannon.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Diana, full stop. Do not cheat on her. Do not abandon her cousin to your rapist little brother. It will end badly.
  • Book-Ends: The story opens with Diana working in a shoe store and two customers who are strippers (Ronnie and Tricks) convince her to become a stripper. At the end, Ebony is working in the same store and two stripper girls visit, but she wisely confronts them about the worth of the stripping profession while Diana is watching proudly.
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  • Calling the Old Man Out: This lead into the argument and estrangement with Diana's father that lead her to become a stripper in the first place.
  • Cassandra Truth: Diana's warnings to Ebony to at least slow down with her immersion into the stripper lifestyle go completely unheeded until it's too late.
  • Coming-of-Age Story: Diana's.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Diana and Ronnie's fight was entirely one-sided. And satisfying.
  • Date Rape Averted: Subverted. The guests at Junior's bachelor party hear Junior beating and raping Ebony on the other side of the door, and instead of breaking down the door or calling for help, leave her alone with Junior.
  • Delusions of Eloquence: Dollar Bill's speech about "bootiful black women". You could see their public hairs.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Ronnie, although we never see her sexually interact with any men that weren't part of the job, so she could very well be a Psycho Lesbian.
  • Evil Debt Collector: St. Louis sends one with a shotgun to Dollar Bill.
  • False Friend: Ronnie with Diana, and especially Ebony.
  • Get Out!: Two examples, both in the climax.
    • After finding out about Ebony's rape and Ronnie just leaving her there after finding out that Junior did it. Diana, accompanied by Blue, charges right back into the Players Club and into the stripper's room, demanding everyone but Ronnie leave. No one takes her seriously at first...until she pulls out a gun and fires a warning shot. That proves to be more convincing encouragement.
    • After the fight and the arresting of Ronnie, Trix and Junior. St. Louis, the gangster whom Dollar Bill owns money to, finally arrives to make good on his threat for missed payments. He's wheeled into the club carrying an uzi and warns the patrons if they don't want to get murder then "Get the fuck out!'
  • Karma Houdini: Reggie and Clyde, but especially Reggie for goading Junior into thinking Ebony was an easy lay and abandoning her to get raped by Junior.
    • Also applies to Ronnie, as the epilogue makes no mention of jail time for being an accessory to Ebony's rape or obstruction of justice.
  • Known Only by Their Nickname: Strippers in the Player's Club in general, but especially Tricks, who we never hear being called anything else.
  • How We Got Here: The film opens with Diana standing in front of the wreckage of The Players Club.
  • Jive Turkey: Almost all black characters use slang, but Dollar Bill is that even compared to them.
  • Oh, Crap!: Several:
    • Diana when she sees her journalism professor enter the strip club while she's doing a lap dance. Turns out he's okay with her job as long as she makes a real effort to study.
    • Later when she goes home and Myrin confesses to stalking her.
    • Dollar Bill when he learns about St. Loius visiting.
    • Ebony has a major one when she realizes she's the only girl at Junior's bachelor party.
  • Papa Wolf: We find out that Diana's father is one. After Lance cheats on Diana, her father threatens Blue by saying that anything he does with his daughter on their date, he would do to Blue.
    • The above threat is said while the two are at a shooting yard and the father shoots the target first in the head, then in the groin.
  • Precision F-Strike: "Assume the fuckin' position!"
  • Punch-Clock Villain: XL, possibly. When Blue told him to leave while Diana was beating the shit out of Ronnie in the changing room, he didn't hesitate.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Dropped on Ebony by Diana after she catches Ebony sleeping with Lance in her bed.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Diana has had exactly enough of your shit, Ronnie. Letting Ebony get raped by Junior and abandoning her in the hotel room was the last of many straws.
  • Scary Black Man: St. Louis, his hitman and Brooklyn. Then there's K. C., who tries very hard to be this, but fails.
  • Stalker with a Crush Myrin. This gets no resolution whatsoever, after being set up relatively early in the film.
  • Single Mom Stripper: Diana has a son, and Trix was said to have six kids.
  • Those Two Guys: Reggie and Clyde. They could also be considered Those Two Bad Guys, seeing as they work for Saint Louis and left Ebony to get raped by Junior.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Dollar. Bill. If he would have just paid Saint Louis he might still have his club, his money, and died in a way that left an identifiable body instead of no body at all.
  • Trash the Set: How the club gets destroyed. Brooklyn blows it up with a grenade launcher.
    • Also applies to Ebony to a certain extent, though while she doesn't die, she does end up raped and beaten by the brother of the woman who freely admitted to raping her sleeping cousin for money.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Junior can be heard sobbing while telling Ronnie that they have to call their mother from the back of a squad car after he's been arrested for Ebony's rape.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Invoked by Ronnie with Diana during an Attempted Rape of all things. It doesn't take.
  • Where Are They Now: A year after the events, Diana gives an account on every character. Except for Dollar Bill. He was stated as never being heard from again.

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