review for Girl 6 on AllMovie

Girl 6 (1996)
by Brian J. Dillard review

Celebrity cameos, pop culture send-ups, a bunch of stellar Prince songs, and the likable, layered lead performance of Theresa Randle are the high points of this uneven Spike Lee comedy-drama, which treats the phone sex industry with a mixture of false glamour and cautionary angst. Despite Suzan-Lori Parks' spotty screenplay, Randle gives it her all as Girl 6, a would-be actress with her head in the clouds and her butt in a cubicle talking dirty to pay the rent. Girl 6's colorful fantasies of appearing in everything from The Jeffersons to Foxy Brown give Lee the chance to strut his satirical stuff -- and provide cinematographer Malik Hassan Sayeed and production designer Ina Mayhew the opportunity to dazzle. More problematic are the nightmare sequences in which Girl 6 conflates her own emotional downfall with the plight of a little girl who's plunged into an elevator shaft. The murky drama of these scenes doesn't quite gel with the exuberance of the movie spoofs, the bawdiness of the phone-sex scenes and the soap-opera earnestness of much of the rest. Still, Randle's convincing performance provides a sense of continuity, and colorful cameos from Halle Berry, Madonna, and Quentin Tarantino keep things interesting. Naomi Campbell and Debi Mazar have fun playing two of the protagonist's heavy-breathing colleagues, while Lee himself gives one of his more credible performances as Jimmy, Girl 6's officious neighbor. Messy but likable, Girl 6 is a mixed bag.