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Hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons is followed through what appears to be a typical day in his busy life in this cinéma vérité documentary. Simmons, whose record companies have branched out into a sprawling business enterprise consisting of clothing lines and retail boutiques, talks on his cell phone, attends a number of business meetings, has a business lunch, and even goes to a surprise birthday party for Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs. As seen by the hand-held camera, Simmons comes across as a charming, energetic, and affable character, but the documentary is lengthy, clocking in at nearly two hours, becoming ultimately frustrating. A tour of Simmons palatial Manhattan duplex comes complete with a trip into his shoe closet, and other such details are tossed in for mostly humorous effect. Except for snippets of conversation during some meetings and some interviews with employees, the viewer isn't given much insight into what has made Simmons such a successful businessman. This video is very much a paean to its subject and perhaps that's the problem. Someone who is already a fan of Simmons may find it fascinating, but it's a curiously slow-paced look at a fast-paced life. And the relaxed editing means the camera follows Simmons during parts of his day that, to be honest, aren't terribly interesting to watch. --Robert J. McNamara
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