Posted: 09/12/2011


35 and Ticking

by Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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35 and Ticking is an ensemble film by Russ Parr that has a group of childhood friends growing into productive adults, with the women wondering when they will become mothers and the men facing obstacles in their social lives, as well.

Kevin Hart plays Cleavon, who believes he has a job but he really donates sperm at the sperm bank on a daily basis. Keith Robinson is Phil, who is a bottled water delivery driver, and who is married to Jill Marie Jones, who plays Coco. Coco isn’t too happy with the marriage and parties all the time, not really bonding with the couple’s two young children. But the group of friends tries to warn Phil that he has made a bad choice.

Nicole Ari Parker is Zenobia, a television sportscaster, and Tamla Jones plays Victoria, who is married to a younger computer programmer. Megan Good, Michael Epps, Darius McCrary, Clifton Powell and Wendy Rachel Robinson round out the rest of this black-indie-film-star-studded cast.

After successful screenings in Washington, D.C., and a West Coast, red-carpet premiere at the Pan African Film Festival, Image Entertainment, in conjunction with Swirl Films and Up To Parr Productions, is releasing 35 and Ticking on DVD on September 13, after a short run in theaters across the country earlier this year. It’s essentially a movie about the value of friends and family when everyone seems to have let you down.

Zenobia has always been tall, and she was especially teased while in school, even Cleavon and Phil would tease her, as flashbacks showed her and Tamla going home from school and pining over celebrities and wondering if they would grow up and marry any real stars.
Of course they don’t and now that the clock is ticking, Zenobia is searching for a man, and Victoria is constantly pressuring her husband to agree to a baby. Eventually her husband, played by Dondre Whitfield, blows up and says he doesn’t want a baby, although a year later, Victoria sees him happily shopping in the mall with another woman who is obviously pregnant. Victoria is crushed, but she has her group of friends to console her and keep her sane.

Zenobia, while a driven, ambitious professional, ends up going on an online date with a much older man, Powell, who is finally playing a role in which he is not a gangster. However, he is an ex-gangster and business man who takes Zenobia to a party in the “hood,” which turns out to test her mettle, as she is wearing a red dress,—the wrong color in a group of women who thinks nothing of jumping on her, believing she is a member of a rival gang.
After a series of ups and downs and disappointments, Zenobia and Phil finally discover that they are the perfect pair, after his wife leaves him for Nick West, an NBA star, played by McCrary.

Victoria is finally over her ex-husband, and shy Cleavon finally gets Good’s number and they nurture a relationship that’s worthy enough for marriage.
35 and Ticking is from a “true Renaissance man, Parr, and his career has evolved from a stand-up comic and recording artist to a top-rated, nationally-syndicated radio host heard weekdays by 3.2 million listeners in 45 cities across America,” according to the movie’s press release.

Check out 35 and Ticking, an uplifting film, in the vein of Love Jones and Brown Sugar, with a great cast and fun times. For more information, visit

Elaine Hegwood Bowen is an editor, writer and film critic in Chicago.

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