Office Christmas Party
Another reminder that allowing your cast to madly improvise instead of actually providing a coherent script with a scintilla of inherent logic often leads to…
"A Good Man in Africa" has some politically incorrect things to say, and needs to say them in a certain tone to get away with them.
It's based on a 1985 novel by William Boyd, which found the tone: That cynical but bemused British voice, perfected by Evelyn Waugh in Scoop, in which the hero is a self-centered scoundrel concerned mostly with drink and women, who is posted to some obscure corner of the world where everyone conspires to make his life miserable.
Because we see the story through the hero's eyes, and because his weakness is so freely confessed, we can smile, because the joke's on him.
Movies tend to be more objective, however, and the same kind of story, filmed here by Bruce Beresford, mostly misses the comic tone and becomes a parable about an Africa where all of the whites are hypocrites and all of the blacks are corrupt. The movie's most interesting character, who inspires the title, is an unbending Scotish doctor named Murray, played by Sean Connery with a certain droll anger that seems just right.