Director: Doug Ellin
Stars: Jermaine “Huggy” Hopkins, Brian Hooks, Claudia Kaleem, Candice Merideth
As the creator of HBO’s Entourage, Doug Ellin has contributed something to popular culture that’ll most likely remain in the public subconscious for years, perhaps even decades, to come; if reruns of Boy Meets World still air on a daily basis to this day, old episodes following Vincent Chase’s rise to Hollywood glory most definitely should pop up in syndication. But, in our mind, Ellin demands credit for more than Entourage—could we ever forget about the directorial masterwork that is Phat Beach? No way in Hell.
If you’re lucky enough, you might stumble across Phat Beach late one night on some admirable cable network; whenever that times comes, do yourself a favor and watch. Jermaine “Huggy” Hopkins (the black Jonah Hill of his day) holds it down as a fast food cook who, against his parents’ wishes, heads to a Southern California beach to pick up chicks alongside his wise-cracking boy (Brian Hicks, the original Mike Epps).
A far cry from beach movies of the ’60s (i.e., those perky Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello collaborations), Ellin’s sloppily directed flick is awful, yes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not endlessly watchable. Whether it’s through the visibly forced humor or co-star Claudia Kaleem’s phenomenal bikini body, Phat Beach more than earns its hate-yourself-for-loving-it stripes.