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Review Top Five (2014): Chris Rock goes Birdman: Comedy and drama superbly mixed that is about life and love

genre: comedy, drama

If you read the premise then Top Five seems to appear to be your typical rom com where you more or less can predict where the story is going. However this film is not about how it ends, it's more of how the main character gets there.

Top Five is more about life than love. Love is only one element. One other important one is our main character's career. Andre Allen is tired of being typecast as the funny man and tries to get above it with it latest movie Uprize ( about the Haitian revolution) which the public simply does not want to see him in. They keep asking him when he will do the next Hammy film. To Allen's dismay and discontent. In this aspect it has some similarities with Birdman. But while Birdman embraces the intensities and the dramatics of theater Top Five tries to avoid this as much as possible since it is more aiming for the laughs. However it still remains to be honest and sincere. 

This is not Chris Rock firing jokes every two minutes. It's a more subtle approach where he is reflecting on his life and is wondering if he is heading into the right direction. Chelsea Brown (Rosario Dawson) asks him questions that forces him to deal with the issues he is struggling with. But by doing so you do get to see some truly funny moments because they do come unexpectedly. Apart from the obvious ones with cameos from famous comedians like Whoopi Goldberg, Adam Sandler and Jerry Seinfeld. 

But if you are not interested in those life questions there is some romancing going on. While I would not put Rosario Dawson opposite Chris Rock I can't deny that they had some great chemistry going on. The way they interact felt like real people having a conversation. Especially Andre Allen is hostile at first since he does not trust journalists and critics. And therefore it was nice to see him warming up to Chelsea Brown. The way their relationship was developing felt natural. The friendship between Allen and Silk felt real as well without needing to get deeper into it.

I truly enjoyed Top Five very much since in many ways it deals with subjects everybody can relate to. On top of this it simply is very funny and charming. It's far from perfect but it is incredibly sincere and I just love that kind of thing in a film.

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