DVD Exit Strategy

DVD Exit Strategy
DVD Exit Strategy

Run time: 76 min
Rating: 3.3
Genres: Comedy | Romance
Director: Michael Whitton
Writers: Rick Fontaine, Mustafa Harris
Stars: Jameel Saleem, Quincy Harris, Noelle Balfour
Evicted from his apartment, James has to move in with his girlfriend of 3 months. He quickly discovers that she’s everything he never wanted in a woman. His only option is to get her to break up with him — but still let him sleep on the couch. Written by Anonymous
Plot Keywords: break up, african american, roommate, honesty, crazy girlfriend
Country: USA
Release Date: 10 February 2012 (USA)


  1. What's interesting about this film, is that it does not address race. It's not labeled as a "Black movie" and the plot does not have anything to do with race. Weathers and James, both African-American, are the main characters and their issues in the film don't necessarily relate to their racial identities. Also, they each have a diverse group of friends in the film.

    Many may argue that the majority of films we see with a Black cast, either harp on stereotypes or focus on an issue dealing with race. While dealing with race is important, are there enough films where we can just be light?

  2. The world is full of low-budget comedies vying for notice. Some of them are worthy; some of them should just disappear.

    Exit Strategy is far from a perfect film, but it does have enough good aspects to make it worth the look. And it does hint that star and co-writer Jameel Saleem has the potential to make a very good film down the line. He is not quite there yet, but I bet he'll make it.

    Saleem plays James, a lazy, but basically personable guy who works at a second-hand store in LA with his two best friends from college, Carville (Quincy Harris) and Leona (Noelle Balfour). One day he comes home to find out he has been evicted from his apartment.

    He tries to hit his friends up, but when they both turn him down he decides to movie in with Kim (Kimelia Weathers), a girl he had been dating a few months. Honestly, it hadn't been going that great, he didn't know her that well and they hadn't even had sex yet. Still, James figures that she'll take him in, give him run of the house, cook for him, clean for him and that sex thing will have to come if they are living in the same house, right?

    However, it doesn't turn out quite how he expects. She's a neat freak, has a fetish for pink, expects him to follow her rules of the house – and sex is off of the table until he's ready to consider marriage.

    James' character would be offensive if not for the fact that he is lightly mocked by everyone in the film for his character deficiencies. He wants to sponge off of his girlfriend – live in her apartment, eat her food, watch her TV – and yet is horrified to think that she may have expectations from him as well. Or that she does not necessarily want things in her life done her way.

    It seems like a reasonable expectation. In fact, though, that is just about the only reasonable thing about the girlfriend, which is by far the film's worst aspect.

    That's because his girlfriend is a horror show. I realize that she is way over the top on purpose, for effect, but she is so off-putting that the rest of the film suffers.

    It's supposed to be funny, and in some ways it is, but the character is so unbelievable and so over-the-top that you can't buy it. Also, her whims seem to blow with the wind, changing her from sweet to psycho without a moment's notice. She seems bi-polar and you always wonder why he just doesn't leave.

    However, he can't move out because his two best friends from college won't let him sponge off them. Hey, here's a thought. Get your own place and then you can live however you want.

    Instead, James ends up bitching to his friends, planning his escape and calling Kim out on a radio talk show. Radio personality Big Boy, plays himself in the studio – as well as being one of the film's producers – and for some reason, he and his posse are always filmed in ethereal layered soft focus, making every scene he does feel like a dream sequence.

    The story idea is a bit awkward, but on the plus side Saleem and Weathers (who based her character on a stand-up idea she had been working) actually have a really good ear for dialogue. The writing is often much smarter and snappier than the situation it is illustrating.

    Therefore, Exit Strategy shows real promise. If Saleem can just get his act together as far as plotting and learn to dump some of the extraneous gutter humor, the guy could be someone to keep an eye on.

  3. I took a chance on this "indie" film one night (playing AMC Philly) and left with not only a new opinion about indie films in general and specifically the urban romantic comedy genre, but I walked out with a smile. No bombs, no nudity, no kids out of wed lock, no dirty language, and amazingly – for urban – no drugs and guns. And yet, still very relate-able, honest — and great acting (full cast) and unnoticeable directing by Michael Whitton. I really admired his choices, both for the actors and camera angles: unlike most independent flicks I see, which are often overbearing artistically and aesthetically too artsy — Exit Strategy surpassed my expectations of first-time filmmaking. I'd like to see Whitton helm a 50 million dollar machine. Apparently, from what I read, it was made on a scant budget, but it didn't look like it at all. A solid visual movie feel to it. The editing was unique… very — for a romantic comedy, but I must say it surprisingly worked quite nicely. Right to the point. Smash flashbacks and forwards made it exciting to watch. Very creative. Very. I wish more films came out like this. This film is raw, funny, complex, and mirrored real life entertainingly. Low budget doesn't mean low quality with this film.

  4. Loving to see a black film that doesn't treat it's brothers and sisters like trash. Unknowns Jameel and Kim are so good in this flick. They are going to have a kick start to their career after this one. Hoping for the best. Kevin was funny as usual, but usual. You get my drift. Q Deezy is a comedic up-and-comer as well as the kid who played Scoop. All such good actors. Looking forward to more flicks they are in. The film was shot low budge but who gives a hoot! The story has depth, unlike most black comedies or any comedy for that matter — exit strategy is current — relatable and down right fun to watch. Relationships are hard and I thought the director did a fine fine job molding that on screen. Believable and honest. Thank god for these kind of filmmakers, because this subject matter is rare in film especially a black one. But black it's not. And that's what I appreciated the most. Again, brothers and sisters are treated like real human beings in real situations (or so it seems) which makes for a real good laugh. Excellent.

Leave a Reply

Lost Password