An African-American author's satirical novel becomes a sudden and unexpected hit in American Fiction. Thelonious “Monk” Ellison (Jeffrey Wright) is an author and English professor, who is placed on a leave of absence after a confrontation with an overtly politically correct student. In addition, Monk is informed by his literary agent Arthur (John Ortiz) that his latest novel has been turned down for “not being black enough.” In response, and annoyed at the current hit novel “We's Lives In Da Ghetto” written by Sintara Golden (Issa Rae), Monk adopts the pseudonym Stagg R. Leigh and writes a novel filled with every black cliche imaginable. To Monk's shock, the book is immediately sold to a major publisher and even attracts the attention of pretentious filmmaker Wiley (Adam Brody).
American Fiction Synopsis
American Fiction is a satirical drama written and directed by debut filmmaker Cord Jefferson (Watchmen, The Good Place, Succession), based on the novel Erasure by Percival Everett. The film stars Jeffrey Wright (Asteroid City, The Batman) as Thelonious “Monk” Ellison, who returns home to Boston on a forced sabbatical and is reunited with his sister Lisa (Tracee Ellis Ross) and trainwreck brother Clifford (Sterling K. Brown). Situations result in Monk becoming the primary caregiver of his Alzheimer's suffering mother Agnes (Leslie Uggams) and needing money, is forced to allow a satirical novel he wrote in spite to be published, resulting in it becoming a sudden and unexpected hit.
My Thoughts on American Fiction
The plot of American Fiction is divided between the satirical comedy of the unexpected hit of Thelonious “Monk” Ellison's incredibly stereotypical novel. Much of the humour in the film is very uncomfortable, involving mostly white people who believe they are celebrating diversity by celebrating what is clearly trash. While the film features a, somewhat purposely, unresolved romantic subplot with Monk's neighbour Coraline (Erika Alexander), American Fiction still ends up being an interesting satire.