Watching Chris Robinson’s ATL – hip code slang for Atlanta (and just when I got comfortable calling it “Hot-lanta”) – we should have no doubt that this coming-of-age story plays out on the streets of the Southern metropolis.
Unfortunately, aside from a few tastes of local flavor, this buffed-clean Boyz n the Hood could have been set on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. The mansions meant to represent the city's wealth could stand beyond any iron gate in Beverly Hills. The greasy spoon diner that attracts the film’s high school slackers could be housed in Greenwich Village – the fact that the kids order sweet tea doesn’t automatically make ATL southern. Heck, the film’s life lessons are obvious to anyone, whether they’re from the streets or the suburbs.
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