‘Green Book’ Offers By-The-Book Uplift

Driving though the segregated South in 1962, an Italian-American bouncer from the Bronx introduces the pleasures of fried chicken to an African-American pianist originally from Pensacola, Fla. Anyone who finds that moment plausible is tuned to the same wavelength as Green Book, a well-meaning but glib and shallow ode to interracial healing.

The movie announces itself as “inspired” by the real-life relationship of classics-rooted jazz musician Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and smalltime nightclub bruiser Tony “Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen). Tony becomes Don’s designated guide — and the audience’s, too.

That’s not just because Tony’s son, Nick Vallelonga, co-wrote the script with Brian Hayes Currie and director Peter Farrelly. (Yes, half of the Dumb and Dumber team.) Don is depicted as…

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