Category Archives: Films

Love Jones: A Tribute!

LoveJonesReading

In a departure from my usual reviews, this is, as you may have guessed, a (somewhat random) tribute to Love Jones, the 1997 film written and directed by Theodore Witcher – incredibly it was both his debut, and also the only film I can find credited to him as writer/director to date. A travesty. Here are 10 reasons this film is greatness.

  1. It features intelligent, creative, professional black people living normal lives, falling in love and having their hearts broken. She’s a photographer, he’s an author. They do things like go to bookshops and record stores. It’s crazy that so few films depict people of colour in this way.
  1. Said characters speak in complete, coherent and insightful sentences while never losing their cultural identity.
  1. Nia Long’s character Nina is never made to seem less than in full possession of herself as a woman, never objectified.
  1. It is romantic & sexy, without being over idealised.
  1. Larenz Tate’s character is called Darius Lovehall. Excellent name. And at one point cooks an omelette wearing only jeans. He is splendid.
  1. The soundtrack is second to none – Ellington & Coltrane, Lauryn Hill, Dionne Farris, Maxwell…
  1. It makes you want to hang out in Chicago. They do cool-seeming things like go to jazz-influenced poetry clubs, live reggae, and Chicago Stepper sets where couples wear matching outfits and dance to funk music. Where does one even go to dance as a couple any more?
  1. The weird browny-purple semi-frosted lip colour that Nia Long wears throughout is totally goals.
  1. Despite being almost 20 years old (wow, seriously?), it doesn’t feel or look especially dated, and its themes are universal dilemmas around love, trust and commitment.
  1. The friendship group depicted is funny and realistic, based on supportiveness, a lot of teasing and the occasional falling-out. Reals.

If you haven’t yet seen Love Jones, get thee to a DVD or streaming service. You won’t regret it.

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