Gabrielle Union vs. Garcelle Beauvais
Battle of the Comely "Urban" Love Interests
Gabrielle. Garcelle. Gabrielle. Garcelle. See? Already, you're starting with some slight confusion. Why, if there was an "urban" Oscars, for "urban" movies, hosted by, say, "urban" talk-show host Keenen Ivory Wayans, he might well have trotted out a Gabrielle-Garcelle joke.
First, let's start with Gabrielle Union, who you may well have heard of. She's the star of the "urban"-targeted Deliver Us From Eva, the crossover Will Smith vehicle Bad Boys II, and the upcoming "urban" comedy Breakin' All the Rules.
Garcelle Beauvais, on the other hand, has received less exposure, even though she too has recently starred in the "urban"-targeted Double Take, the crossover Chris Rock vehicle Bad Company and, as of this weekend, can be seen in the upcoming "urban" comedy Barbershop 2.
You might be excused for confusing the two. First, there are their names. Then there's the fact that Garcelle stars on NYPD Blue, while Gabrielle starred on City of Angels. Then there's the fact that Garcelle starred with Jamie Foxx on The Jamie Foxx Show, while Gabrielle will be starring with Jamie Foxx in Breakin' All the Rules.
Then again, Garcelle, at age thirty-seven, has about eight years on Gabrielle, who's turning thirty this year. Then again, Gabrielle has the longer resume, having cut her teeth early in teen films like She's All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, and Bring It On.
Both women are, by all appearances, lovely and talented stars, and both are jostling for a place to sparkle in the "urban" -- the favourite code word in Hollywood (and on radio, for that matter) for "black" -- celebrity constellation. (You know, somewhere north of Taye Diggs and east of Morris Chestnut.) Or, for that matter, a place in the general celebrity universe, with its notoriously broad racial spectrum, from Halle Berry to Denzel Washington to, er, Jennifer Lopez and, um, Halle Berry. We certainly hope there's also room for Garcelle and Gabrielle. We doubt, however, that there's room for both of them, plus Brandy, plus Rosario Dawson.
Advantage: There is power in a Union.