Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Definitive Black Romance Film
A classic movie is what I would label "love jones." This article made me remember how much I really loved it. 15 years ago, I saw a movie that changed me. It became an instant classic. I remember this like it was yesterday. The day "love jones" was released, my friends (Ty, Reese, Shay, & Shauna) & I went to see it after school. For the opening montage to the ending credits, I was sold. Before this film, I was a fan of Nia Long and Larenz Tate's. That was solidified after seeing it. This film was more than a Black romantic movie. I was enamored with one of the main characters, poetry. Back then, I was an aspiring poet. I was new to spoken word and places that catered to just that. There was just something real and authentic about this film to me. I loved it instantly. So much so that I went on a date the next night to see it again.
The love story between Darius Lovehall and Nina Moseley was intense and real. I loved how relatable the were to me and people I knew. It was amazing to see happy, functional Black people in love on the big screen. The poetry references as well as the photography made the film decidedly different. The friendships between men and women, married and single played out on screen. The film showed all of the ins and outs of Black livelihood. I've never been to Chicago but this movie made me want to visit. I loved the shots of the city throughout the film. The characters were all so real to me. Their triumphs and failures, their laughter and their tears were things we all could understand. It's one of the reason that "love jones" was such a great film to me.
And as amazing as the movie itself was, the soundtrack was as comprobable. I can still listen to it from beginning to end. I loved every song. From Dionne Farris to Coltrane and Ellington, every song just felt perfect. The music was happily married with the film. It's not often that a soundtrack is as whole and complete as this one. Actually, I can only think of one that falls into that category: the one for "Waiting to Exhale." The soundtrack is a mix of neo-soul, Hip-Hop, jazz, and R&B. Musically, it was perfection. I want to listen to it just writing this.
I don't think we will ever see another film like this. Every aspect of it just worked. It's one of the first dvd's I remember purchasing. Even though I know every word, I still watch it like it's the first time. It's just that awesome to me. I'm thankful for the acting of Nia Long, Larenz Tate, Isiah Washington, Bill Bellamy, Lisa Nicole Carson, as well as the rest of the cast. It was the perfect release at a time when we were being oversaturated with more "hood" movies. A Black love story told in a new and realistic way was huge news 15 years ago. We haven't seen anything close since then. "love jones" will forever be a classic work of art to me and my friends.