Gray People (2022)

Nick (Isaiah Jimenez) has finally been told by his mother (Jana Collette Henry) and it’s taking a toll on this plans to have a weed store with his friend Kyle (Casey Starchak). Nick doesn’t have the money, Kyle doesn’t want to ask his father (Essex O’Brien). That’s when the Goldstein Organisation — operated by, you guessed it, Goldstein (Don Larson) — comes in and their grant programs to small businesses. Except, you know, you have to have gray skin to get one. So cue Soul Man as Nick and Kyle paint their skin and try to pass, which seems doomed to fail as Nick is black and Kyle is white.

Directed and written by Romello Blade, this takes a cute idea, has some interesting makeup as the grays are nearly bright in tone and adds in government intrigue and romance between a grey named Zeka (Michelle Nuñez) and Nick. There’s no way the guys can keep up their makeup-assisted scam for long, right? And are the Goldstein Group’s higher ups Madoff (Dennis Mallen) and Janice (Madi Jarrard) taking all the cash for themselves? And does Zeka know more than she’s letting on?

This could have been just a little bit shorter and been much more effective, but it’s a decent enough film with goofy stoner humor and an anti-racism message.

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