Review: Greenbook – An Unlikely Friendship


New York Public Library

Cover of the book The Negro Motorist Green-Book (1940 edition). This guide book appeared yearly between 1936 and 1966. It was called "Negro traveller's Green-Book. The guide for travel and vacations" as shown in the Hollywood movie Green Book (2018).

This article contains spoilers. 

Green Book is an Oscar winning film that is sure to catch the eye.  This film won Best Picture and surely deserved it. It came out in theaters on November 21, 2018, and is still rolling to this date. This  movie makes the viewer produce an abundance of emotions; it captivates us and deeply moves. This movie will make you shed tears of both sorrow and laughter.

Tony Lip, an Italian man living in the Italian Bronx area which had very prevalent views of racism, is a bouncer for a recently shut down club. This leaves him with no income to support his beautiful wife and two kids. He is desperate for work and will do anything for the right price. That’s when he receives a call from Dr. Don Shirley, a world renown black pianist who needs one of the best bodyguards because he’s about to embark on a tour through the deep south. He calls Lip because multiple sources told him he was the best in the business. After Shirley gets permission from Lip’s wife to go on this eight-week-long journey, they get going on their way.

…it shows no one is less than another no matter the circumstances or skin color.”

Along this journey, they use the “Green Book” to see what hotels serve and are safe for African Americans to stay in. At first, Lip and Shirley do not seem to be the best match. Shirley is very proper, sophisticated and calm, compared to Lip’s short temper, lack of education, and careless lifestyle. Surely enough, however, the two start developing a rapport and mutual respect.

As they travel more south, the racism gets worse. Shirley is disrespected almost everywhere he goes to perform. Shirley’s goal is to try to be a movement activist and fight against racism, but his progress seems to be obsolete when he is given terrible hotel rooms, changing rooms, food, and eating conditions compared to Lip, whose accommodations are much better. But as Lip and Shirley’s bond gets tighter, Lip can no longer stand for this.  He realizes that color doesn’t matter a bit.

This movie is  a must-see. The film is family-friendly and demonstrates a very important lesson:  it shows no one is less than another no matter the circumstances or skin color. Movies this good are few and far between.