Watch Made in America
- 1 hr 50 min
Made in America is a charming and lighthearted comedy-drama that was released in 1993. The movie tells the story of a young, confident and intelligent African-American girl named Zora Matthews (played by Nia Long) who decides to trace her roots and look for her biological father. Her mother, Sarah Matthews (played by Whoopi Goldberg), is supportive but hesitant, as she knows that her daughter's father was a sperm donor and she never knew his identity. The setting of the film is in California, where the story takes place. Sarah Matthews runs a successful bookstore, and her daughter helps out by coordinating the employees and managing the store's finances. However, Zora's mind is preoccupied about discovering her biological father, leading her to conduct some sly detective work that leads her to the donor's identity. She is shocked to find out that her parentage is connected to the family of the white car salesman, Hal Jackson (played by Ted Danson), who happens to be the sperm donor. Zora is disappointed when she finds out that her biological father passed away but is interested in learning more about her family. Sarah is reluctant to confront Hal, fearing that it might lead to complications and disrupt the peace and contentment that they already have in their lives. However, Zora is persuasive and insists that they get to know Hal and his family. Hal feels guilty about donating sperm to the clinic, as he believed that the donation was for research, and not for conception. To make things worse, Sarah Matthews is vocal about her feelings about the clinic and how it felt like shopping for sperm in a catalog. The conversation between the two makes Hal confront his biases and privileges as a white man, and how it has affected his actions. He eventually agrees to meet Zora and her mother, and the two families come together to learn about one another and begin to forge a deeper bond. While the movie revolves around the Matthews and Jackson families, the story also highlights the racial and social issues that exist in America. However, these issues are tackled with subtlety, humor, and emotional depth, instead of being heavy-handed or preachy. Tensions between the black and white communities are hinted at but are never drawn upon for major dramatic effects. Besides the story, the film boasts an impressive cast. Whoopi Goldberg puts in a heartfelt performance as Sarah Matthews, showcasing her range as an actor, from comedic moments to more emotional and tender ones. Ted Danson is also great as Hal Jackson, a character who is charming and likable, despite his flaws. Will Smith plays Tea Cake Walters, Zora's best friend, and love interest, who has a few witty one-liners that add levity to some of the movie's more tense moments. Nia Long's portrayal of Zora Matthews feels natural and nuanced, showcasing a young woman's desire to know more about her identity, but also an acuity to the possible impediments she and her family might face. The film's soundtrack also features some timeless tracks from iconic musicians such as Stevie Wonder, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin. The musical score was a great mix of funk, soul, and blues which helps to elevate some of the film's dramatic scenes. In conclusion, Made in America is a heartwarming blend of comedy and drama that deals with issues of identity, family, race, and social status in a way that still resonates to this day. The movie is buoyed by its talented cast, great music, and deft direction by director Richard Benjamin. Despite its age, it still remains a relevant film that is worth a watch.