This Day in Film: “B.A.P.S.”

Published by Michael Arceneaux on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

(Photo: New Line Cinema)

On this day in 1997, Halle Berry wanted to make audiences laugh again.

Berry, who would go on to win the 2001 Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance inMonster’s Ball, teamed up with actress Natalie Desselle-Reid for the movie B.A.P.S.

The Robert Townsend–directed film featured Berry and Desselle-Reid in the roles of “Nisi” and “Mickey,” two waitresses in Decatur, Georgia, with big dreams of opening the world’s first joint hair salon and soul food restaurant.

Though the film has since become a staple of basic cable and pop-culture folklore, at the time it was widely panned. Noted film critic Roger Ebert gave the film the equally rare and colossally bad rating of zero stars.

In his review, Ebert wrote: “B.A.P.S. is jaw-droppingly bad, a movie so misconceived I wonder why anyone involved wanted to make it.”

His peers seemed to agree, as the film only noted a paltry 13 percent positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

1997 theater-goers were inclined to agree as well. B.A.P.S. was budgeted for $10,000,000 yet only grossed a little more than $7.3 million at the box office.

If nothing else, at least the movie boasted a cameo from Rudy Ray Moore.

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