Flavor On The Side Please: 7 Of Our Favorite Ladies Who Played The Token Black BFF

August 21, 2012  |  
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In 2007, the Los Angeles Times documented a startling trend in Hollywood cinema: the rise of the Black BFF. Funny enough, it’s a trend that hasn’t gotten out of style. On one hand, movie executives get to inject some flavor into their scripts by adding a sassy Black female character to play the right hand of the main heroine, but on the other, it seems to render it acceptable for Black actresses to always occupy the sidelines (not the lead). I’m not sure if I feel any type of way about it. I certainly don’t believe some of these fictional friendships but I’m not mad that this trend gives Black actresses a chance to play a role in a major movie. Here are a handful of movies that represented for this obvious Hollywood trend.

 

Clueless

This classic movie definitely kickstarted this new Hollywood trend. But Clueless definitely provided one of the more believable portrayals of an interracial friendship. Cher and Dionne had chemistry, and were hilarious together in their sarcastically posh roles.

Miss Congeniality

Considering that Sandra Bullock has some sass and flavor, the casting of Regina King as her sidekick in the comedy Miss Congeniality seemed all too natural and worked well on screen.

 

I Know What You Did Last Summer 

It was no secret that Brandy and Jennifer Love Hewitt weren’t best buddies after the making of this 1998 summer horror flick, and it definitely showed in their onscreen chemistry.

 

Crossroads

Before Zoe Saldana was a leading lady in her own right, she played Britney Spears’ BFF in the teen flick Crossroads. I have to admit that it was a sweet movie and their friendship, seeing that it wasn’t all too complicated with grown-up troubles, seemed fairly convincing.

The Nanny Diaries

In New York city, the chance at forming multi-cultural friendships runs much higher but for these two NY characters, it just seemed all too inauthentic. But I don’t know if we can blame it simply on casting or the script…or simply on Alicia Keys’ bad acting.

 

The Devil Wears Prada

This is another movie set in New York city and which calls for diversity by way of friendships. Tracie Thoms played the level-headed BFF to Anne Hathaway – a journalist who fumbled into the damaging world of high fashion. Thoms didn’t have much screen time but I appreciated her no-nonsense role which was unconventionally low on sass.

 

Eat, Pray, Love

Since Eat, Pray, Love was based on the autobiographical book of the same name, Viola Davis’ casting may be due to the fact that the real life editor she played is a Black woman, but who knows for sure. In any case, we loved Viola, as usual, in her role alongside the heroine played by Julia Roberts.

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