Written, directed, and produced by Prince, Graffiti Bridge was Prince’s third and final venture into movies and by far his weakest. Graffiti Bridge is the sequel to Purple Rain, where Morris (Morris Day) and The Kid (Prince) are competing owners of night clubs in the mythical town of Seven Corners. Morris wants to own all the night clubs so he is trying to win Prince’s club in an unofficial battle of the bands, and at the same time is also trying to strong-arm George Clinton into selling his club. While this is happening, a sexy angel that lives under a bridge is sent by God to get Morris and The Kid to stop arguing. At least I think that’s what she’s trying to do. This movie is so crazy that I struggle on how to explain it. The best I’ve been able to come up with is it’s like if Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies met 2003’s From Justin to Kelly. If you haven’t gathered, it’s bad. Like, it’s so bad it almost ruins Purple Rain for me (notice I said “almost”). As a huge Prince fan it pains me to say that, but it’s so terrible it makes Under the Cherry Moon look like a masterpiece.
The problem, though, is Prince being overconfident that he was the reason Purple Rain worked, and not the hundreds of other things that contributed to it. He’d seen plenty of music videos being made, he’d already directed one movie, so he decided to direct Graffiti Bridge. The only person who could possibly have told Prince directing was a bad idea would have been a producer, but Prince is also producing. Top to bottom, everyone involved with this movie owes Prince something, from the acting gig to the people on his label. No one involved was telling him “no.” The very unique bubble that we then get is the movie equivalent of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” Graffiti Bridge is completely, 100%, all Prince. Every thought, every idea that is Prince in 1990 is on that screen for us to see. As a fan, that is incredibly fascinating to me.