Friday is a 1995 American stoner-buddy crime comedy film directed by F. Gary Gray (in his directorial debut), starring Ice Cube (who also co-wrote the film) and Chris Tucker.
| Spoiler warning: The following contains plot details about|
the entire movie.
Craig Jones (Ice Cube), a man living in South Central Los Angeles, California, has just lost his job, after being framed for stealing. Not having any plans, he hangs out on his front porch with his best friend, Smokey (Chris Tucker), a pothead who sells marijuana for Big Worm (Faizon Love), the psychopathic neighborhood supplier.
Throughout the day, Craig and Smokey observe the on-goings in their neighborhood. They encounter Ezail (Anthony Johnson), a crackhead who supports his habit with petty crime; Debbie (Nia Long), an attractive girl on whom Craig has a crush; Craig's neighbor, Stanley (Ronn Riser), whose wealth like supercilious attitude bemuses Craig; Red (DJ Pooh), Craig's former colleague and childhood friend whose bike and necklace have been forcibly taken by Deebo (Tom "Tiny" Lister, Jr.), the neighborhood bully who enlists Smokey's aid in a burglary of Stanley's house; Pastor Clevor (Bernie Mac) the neighborhood pastor who is caught sleeping with Mrs. Parker (Kathleen Bradley) by her husband (Tony Cox); and Felisha (Angela Means), Debbie's sister and Deebo's girlfriend, who irritates everyone in the neighborhood with her constant begging.
Smokey, who has been smoking rather than selling his consignment of marijuana, has a confrontation with Big Worm. In an attempt to explain his money shortage, Smokey incriminates Craig. Big Worm threatens to kill them both if they do not give him two hundred dollars by 10:00 p.m.
Craig angrily confronts Smokey about his lack of initiative in selling the marijuana before deciding to help Smokey. Craig unsuccessfully attempts to borrow money from his mother (Anna Maria Horsford), his sister, Dana (Regina King), and his insanely jealous girlfriend, Joi (Paula Jai Parker).
Craig's father, Willie (John Witherspoon), eventually learns of Craig's plan, as well as the fact that Craig is carrying a gun. Willie talks to him, explaining that Craig should use his fists, instead of guns, to resolve his problems all the while telling Craig the story of how his uncle (who was Willie's brother) lost his life at the age of 22 due to gun violence.
Later on, while Craig and Smokey discuss their dilemma, they are interrupted by the arrival of Rita (Yvette Wilson), a girl whom Debbie set Smokey up with earlier. Smokey then discovers she lied about her looks: instead of resembling Janet Jackson as she originally claimed, Rita is obese and bald.
Smokey heads to Debbie's house to complain and notices Red's bike on the lawn. He sneaks in and finds Deebo asleep with Felisha. Smokey tries to reclaim the money that he and Deebo stole from Stanley earlier, but he is interrupted by Ezail. Both escape without the money before Deebo wakes up. Smokey returns to Craig's house to tell him, and Craig agrees to go back with Smokey to try again, but at that moment, Deebo rides past.
The two notice a black car driving slowly and hide, suspecting a possible drive-by shooting. Scared, they run to Craig's room, then agree to venture out. Once outside, they notice the van parked in the street with its headlights off. The two flee as men in the van start shooting at them.
The neighbors emerge from their homes upon hearing the gunshots. Debbie then confronts Deebo for assaulting Felisha after Deebo falsely accuses Felisha of Smokey's attempted theft. Deebo eventually assaults Debbie, as Craig and Smokey arrive.
Angered that Deebo has struck a woman, Craig stands up to him, and threatens him with his gun. Deebo scoffs at the threat and Willie encourages Craig to put down the weapon and fight with his hands. Craig and Deebo fight. After nearly losing, Craig emerges victorious by using various objects (including a brick and a trash can) as weapons.
As Debbie tends to Craig, Smokey steals the money from an unconscious Deebo and flees the scene. Red punches Deebo again to ensure he doesn't wake up as revenge and retrieves his chain and bicycle while Ezail steals Deebo's shoes. Craig and Debbie agree to meet up the following day (hinting at a potential romance), and Craig breaks up with Joi over the phone.
Later, Smokey settles with Big Worm, and ends the feud. He announces that he is giving up drug dealing and going to rehab. After hanging up, Smokey looks up, lights a joint and ends the film by shouting, "I was just bullshittin'! And you know this, man!"
- Ice Cube as Craig Jones
- Chris Tucker as Smokey
- Nia Long as Debbie
- Bernie Mac as Pastor Clever
- Tiny Lister, Jr. as Deebo
- John Witherspoon as Willie Jones
- Anna Maria Horsford as Betty Jones
- Regina King as Dana Jones
- Paula Jai Parker as Joi
- Faizon Love as Big Worm
- DJ Pooh as Red
- Angela Means Kaaya as Felisha
- Vickilyn Reynolds as Joann
- Ronn Riser as Stanley
- Kathleen Bradley as Mrs. Parker
- Tony Cox as Mr. Parker
- Anthony Johnson as Ezail
- Demetrius Navarro as Hector
- Jason Bose Smith as Lil' Chris
- Justin Revoner as Kid #1
- Meagan Good as Kid #2
- Lawanda Page as Old Lady
- Terri J. Vaughn as China
- Yvette Wilson as Rita
- WC as Shooter
- Reynaldo Rey as Red's father
- F. Gary Gray (cameo role) as The Man in the Store
- Michael Clarke Duncan (uncredited) as Craps Player
"Friday" was filmed in 20 days. It was filmed in South Los Angeles, California on 126th Street between Halldale and Normandie. The houses used in filming were houses of old friends of director F. Gary Gray.
Due to safety issues because the film was shot in a Crip neighborhood, the cast members were warned not to wear anything red.
Chris Rock and Tommy Davidson were considered for the role of Smokey.
"Friday" opened at #2 at the box office, grossing $6,589,341 during its opening weekend.
The film grossed $27,467,564 in North America and $748,354 internationally with a total of $28,215,918 worldwide.
"Friday" received mostly positive reviews from critics.
Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 77% based on 22 reviews. Metacritic gives the film a mixed score of 54%, based on 9 reviews.
The Austin Chronicle called it "a refreshingly lighthearted look at day-to-day life in the inner city" and also said, "Despite its faults, Friday is lively entertainment, full of personable actors and cheerfully served up with nary a trace of cynicism. It's not perfect, but it is fun".
Richard Harrington from the Washington Post said "Friday" is "a bracing reminder of how quickly a good day can turn to bad and how such events become a fact of life".
1996 MTV Movie Awards
- Best Breakthrough Performance: Chris Tucker (nominated)
- Best Comedic Performance: Chris Tucker (nominated)
- Best On-Screen Duo: Ice Cube and Chris Tucker (nominated)