It's a semi-autobiographical account of Eminem's early years in Detroit, struggling to make ends meet and get his career off the ground. As such, the film is set in the underground Detroit hip hop scene in 1995. The film depicts white rapper Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (based upon a younger Eminem) as he struggles for respect among his black peers.
The film was a hit in the box office, actually well liked by fans AND critics. Not to mention it also won an Academy Award for the Best Original Song: Eminem's "Lose Yourself", becoming the first film with a rap/hip-hop song to win an Academy Award.
- Actually Pretty Funny: Even Wink cracks up when
EminemJimmy drops the line "How can six dicks be pussies?" during his climactic freestyle.
- In turn, you can see Rabbit crack a smile at Lotto's Leave It to Beaver line. He even admits to Sol George that the line was so good it almost got him.
- Ad Hominem: A powerful tactic among rappers. This is how
EminemJimmy wins the rap duel at the end, preempting Papa Doc's Ad Hominem rap by acknowledging he's a white trash before revealing that Papa Doc is actually Clarence, a well-off lad from the upscale suburbs with a good education at Cranbrook and happily-married parents -- a total alien from such a neighborhood as downtown Detroit.
- The Alcoholic: Stephanie,
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Stephanie becomes this to
EminemJimmy when Wink and Alex drop by at his trailer.
- Autobiographical Role: This movie basically tells Eminems life story...
- For Want of a Nail: If he never got a record deal.
- Berserk Button: You do not want to hit Jimmy's mother with him around, you will regret it.
- Big Bad: Papa Doc.
- Chekhov's Gun : "Papa Doc? You mean Clarence? He went to Cranbrook..."
- Eureka Moment: Right before the final battle, Rabbit is visibly nervous about taking on Papa Doc, wondering what he's going to say to beat him. Cheddar Bob, in what at first appears to be another Idiot Ball moment, asks Rabbit if he's worried about all the things Papa Doc is going to use against him, especially since they're all true. You can see the gears working in Rabbit's head as he realizes that's exactly what he needs to do- admit all these things about himself up front, while stressing their irrelevance, giving Papa Doc literally no ammunition against him.
- Face Heel Turn: Wink.
- Five-Man Band:
- Hilarious in Hindsight: "1,2,3, To the four/1Pac, 2Pac, 3Pac, 4/ 4Pac, 3Pac, 2Pac, 1/ You're Pac, He's Pac, No Pacs, None!" As spit by Eminem directed at Anthonie Mackie's "Papa Doc" character. Come 2009, guess who plays Tupac Shakur in The Notorious B.I.G. Biopic.
- Hollywood Sex: Averted with Jimmy and Alex sex scene.
- Hot Mom: A couple of Jimmy's friends tease him about how hot his mother is. It helps that she's played by Kim Basinger.
- Idiot Ball: Cheddar Bob is always holding it. From yelling "Fuck the Free World" right in the crew's face to setting the abandoned house on fire while everyone was still in it. Oh and then there's another trope below...
- Jerkass: Greg, Stephanie's live-in boyfriend, and, of course, the members of the Free World rap group.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Papa Doc spends the entire film humiliating Rabbit for being a white rapper. Then Rabbit reveals to the whole club that Papa Doc (Or Clarence) is actually from a wealthy family and his tough persona is an act. Watching him as he realizes he has permanently lost any respect or fear he once inspired in people and that he can never regain it is a wonderful sight to behold.
- Miles Gloriousus: Papa Doc pretends to be a tough, street wise gangster who grew up in the same rough lifestyle as Rabbit. Then its revealed he is actually from a wealthy family and his entire persona is a facade that is smashed in front of everyone.
- Motor City
- Paralysis by Analysis: Rabbit choke's the first time he goes on stage.
- Reckless Gun Usage: Jimmy's friend shoots himself (in a very sensitive part) in the act of putting a gun in his waistband - with surprising little reaction.
- Token Minority: Paul,
Eminem'sJimmy's homosexual co-worker.
- Who Jimmy ends up defending from a homophobic co-worker:
Jimmy: Paul may be gay, but you're the faggot.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The rap battles in the movie are these but in musical form. In fact, the point of winning is that you need to give a better "reason you suck" speech than your opponent. Jimmy then turns this on its head in the final rap battle and delivers a "Reason I Suck" speech toward Papa Doc, specifically so that he couldn't give one of these back at Jimmy. It worked.
Jimmy I'm a piece of fucking white trash. I say it proudly. Here, tell these people something they don't know about me.
- The Unfair Sex: When
EminemJimmy catches his girl Alex sleeping with Wink...he beats up the guy and does nothing to Alex.
- Then again, Wink had been a longtime friend of his, making the betrayal arguably worse.