I’ve already started checking my post for a card weighted envelope in red or pink. Sadly it hasn’t arrived and as I begin to suspect this is will be yet another year of fruitless Valentines for me I figure there is nothing for it but to get the girls together and have a DVD night in instead. So inspired by my twitter friend @ecforde here are my top 14 black romantic films for Valentine’s day. This just means that you get to perve at black men on screen and drool with your girls. These aren’t in any particular order as it’s like asking a mother to choose between her children but there isn’t a Tyler Perry in sight. I’ve tried, I just can’t. And some of them are partner friendly
I will consider doing top romantic movies at a later date because as I was going through them I realised that we don’t have the big epics. And there are no British ones. Or am I missing a pirate DVD hook up out there? Hook me up peeps. We are starved of romantic films and have to instead make do with the African Americanised version of love. I guess the moral of the story is to go out there and make your own love stories then write about them for the greater good.
Happy Valentine’s Day my precious
© Chelsea Black
Love and Basketball – rom
Apart from the immature strop Omar Epps pulls over putting his emotions before her career this is a great film. Soundtrack is strong (although be warned that the Maxwell version of Woman’s work isn’t on there. I know, I was bummed too). Sanaa rocks the tom boy basketball player and eventually you realise that love is a choice not a game that you can win. This is a must for the collection and one that you can even watch with your FuBo (future boyfriend) if you don’t mind it digressing into a game of one on one. Oh please be warned that Tyra Banks is in it but don’t let that put you off.
Brown Sugar – rom
Sanaa again. I love this movie despite Taye Diggs being in it. He is so not hip hop!! He can’t even act gully. I’m more street than him and what I know about hip hop can be summarised in two words; the hook. That said it is a great story well told. Boris Kodjoe is in it which doesn’t hurt on the eye candy side. Basketball, Hip Hop and I’m told it was a Nigerian director (shout out to my Nigerian friends who insist on informing me of these facts. Kind of like the Greek dad in my big fat Greek wedding who thinks everything originated from the Greek)
35 and Ticking – rom com
Rarely do we see a film that focuses on women in their 30s and the biological clock. But this one does it well. Kevin Hart is hilarious as the guy who has a job at a bank. The script isn’t the tightest you will ever watch and it occasionally veers into Tyler Perry land but it’s funny in places about a subject that can be difficult. It has Dondre T. Whitfield in it which is enough for me to watch it. There is a hilarious date with an older guy and the neighbours from hell which definitely put this into the comedy section but there is little great romance. Still, I liked it enough to watch it twice and it examines the issues of parenthood and when individuals are ready.
Jumping the Broom- rom com
Beautifully shot movie it starts off well and I enjoyed it more when I watched it with others as opposed to watching by myself. I didn’t laugh when I watched it by myself the first time. The social divide between the two families of the marrying couple is obvious but still comical. But typically this is a T.D. Jakes movie so it does get serious and a little preachy. I’m told that he is a preacher but he is less obvious than he was in Not Easily Broken (If you are a Morris fan watch with caution). Watch it for Gary Dourdant, Laz Alonso and there is eye candy for the guys too in Megan Goode and Paula. Paula Patton’s character is a little tedious / passive aggressive but it’s good to see Angela Bassett and Loretta Devine at their matriarchal best. Best lesson? Always have a little money aside that your partner doesn’t know about for a rainy day. And look at these beautiful men. Look at them!!
Waiting to Exhale /How Stella Got her Groove Back –rom coms
Ignore Whitney’s acting skills and Taye Digg’s Jamaican accent and you have a moment in history where Terry MacMillan was the voice of American black women. I remember asking Mama Black for the books. She read them then made notes in pencil at the bits she loved or cried at, bless. So it was always books and movies that you were meant to share. Watch them for the examples of bad sex in Waiting to Exhale or for Taye Digg’s famous shower scene in Stella. Don’t thank me, just passing on the love. Stella was the first film that openly said to women go and get yours dear. Preferably do it on holiday though where it should stay. Oh and if you are into great sex scenes don’t forget to check out Disappearing Acts with Wesley Snipes and Sanaa getting deeply hot and heavy by the fridge. Ah Terry, you do love your sex girl!
The Best man – rom com
Another one of those films I was supposed to love but was more annoyed by. Morris Chestnut plays a double standard Christian sportsman and Taye Digg plays a writer who writes about the group of friends. He had Sanaa but wanted Nia Long? Hmmmm if Terrence Howard wasn’t in it as the career-less friend (remember him playing that guitar? How I wished I was a guitar) I wouldn’t watch it as often as I do. This is the movie that gave us Candy, the dance. The morals of the story are simple: Women need to be perfect and virginal to be considered wife material, men are always going to want what they didn’t get and ignore the one that is there for them and that strippers deserve love too.
Love Jones –rom
OMG I am adding this one because if I don’t the poetry sorority will kill me. But wait, Larenz Tate is not convincing as a motorbike riding poetry boy, Nia Long is too convincing as an attention seeking cow and yet somehow you root for them because you figure best they be together and leave the rest of us alone. I preferred the Isaiah Washington story line but alas I was made to endure the joys of Larenz trying to man up. It must be hard to be short In Hollywood and yet Morris manages to convince me that he’s all man (team Chestnut). But the story is tight and worthy of a watch. Great soundtrack led by Dionne Farris.
Ok that’s part 1 done. Part 2 to follow after I’ve checked out my post, broken down into floods of tears and then decided which one of the many men should have sent me a card but didn’t. I’m going to make sacrifices first.