"Talk to Me" filters the turbulent past through a man and his microphone





Jive-talkin' Petey Greene was Washington, D.C.'s favorite DJ in the late 1960s, an ex-con turned streetwise radio ranter who struck a chord, and a nerve, with his inner-city listeners. He was the antithesis of Dewey Hughes, the WOL-AM station director who put Greene on the air after much badgering, a buttoned-down company man determined to function smoothly in the white world.
Greene, with a knack for speaking uncomfortable truths, was just the controversial boost Hughes' station needed. And Hughes was a steadying influence on randy, self-destructive Greene, at least until he tried to mold him into a Richard Pryor-style superstar.

The fact-based comedy-drama "Talk to Me" follows the men's relationship through mutual suspicion, aggravation, friendship, head-spinning success and crushing disappointment. Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor make a harmonious duet of the leads. "Talk to Me," co-written by Hughes' son Michael Genet, is mostly made up of spare parts from other rags-riches-and-downfall showbiz biographies, but the leading roles could have been custom-tailored for these two actors.


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