I grew up watching and listening to old 90’s classics. I was born in 1994, so I’m a product of parents that were absolutely in love with the 90’s and everything it had to offer, which resulted in my infatuation with timeless love stories and music that made you sad about your break up, want to dance in the club, and want to find somebody to love all at the same time.
I put together a list of three of my favorite films! Besides these films having black casts, it’s safe to say that one thing that keeps me coming back to these movies is the undeniable chemistry between the actors and actresses and the lessons that they seemed to teach us. Something about each one of these movies left us feeling attached to each character. Each cast member has a certain amount of relatibility that is undeniable. I’m sure all of us have seen these movies an unbelievable amount of times and can quote the lines word for word without hesitation (I know I can).
Below is my list of some of my favorite films, why I fell in love with them, and the lessons they taught me. But all three of these films have at least some if not all of these things in common…they are between artsy lovers, they have the best 90s soundtrack out, Sanaa Lathan is the lead actress, the love between these lovers blossomed when they were kids, the couples struggle to accept their love for one another until it seems to be too late.
Nina Mosley: You always want what you want when you want it. Why is everything so urgent with you?
Darius Lovehall: Let me tell you somethin’. This here, right now, at this very moment, is all that matters to me. I love you. That’s urgent like a motherf—-.
A love story about two artsy lovers in Chicago.
Larenz Tate and Nia Long were the perfect on screen combination for this film.
As an artist and a lover of poetry I loved that this love story was between two creatives, a photographer and a poet/author. Both of these individuals lived lives as artists hustling and trying to make a dime, while somehow finding the time to fall in love with one another. Larenz’ character “Darius” caught Nia’s character “Nina” attention when he recited a poem he had written in the night club while staring deeply into her eyes.
Darius Lovehall: Say, baby…can I be your slave? I’ve got to admit girl you’re the sh** girl…and I’m digging you like a grave.
Nina was hooked from this moment forward. However, like most relationships, Nina and Darius’ relationship wasn’t all smiles and roses. They still went through typical relationship drama like miscommunication, trust issues, heartache, etc. But through the miscommunication and eventual breakup, these two characters still had an undeniable connection and they fought for one another.
This movie taught me that love comes during the most unexpected times and through people that you’d never imagine. It taught us that if you truly love someone despite the mess, love will always find its way and that love is always worth fighting for! Love is complicated and sometimes you gotta give it all up in order for someone to appreciate what they have and sometimes you gotta go through things with temporary people to be prepared to love your forever after. It also taught us the importance of friendships. These characters had some of the best relationships with friends, but also each other. There friendship is what made there bond stronger.
It’s the perfect movie coupled with a glass of wine and a bag of popcorn, and a rainy day.
Love & Basketball
Monica: I’ll play you.
Monica: One game, one-on-one
Quincy: For what?
Monica: Your heart
From the very beginning when Monica and Quincy were kids, they had a chemistry that we couldn’t ignore. They had that love/hate relationship that we all had once or twice when we were kids. You know that feeling you get when you like someone but just don’t know how to express it or what it means. But as they grew up together, that love deepened.
This is by far one of my favorite movies because these two had the same passion and fell in love with it and each other together. They were best friends turned lovers.
From kids to adults, they had something special. Although they broke up and moved on in other relationships, the ending of this film showed that true love never dies but strengthens. It challenged our thoughts on the complicated choice of having to choose between your first love (basketball) and the love of your life, (in this case Quincy). It made us question if it was even fair to choose. But also displayed how in moments of pain we tend to push the people that have our backs and love us the most away due to fear and our own pride.
Quincy: All’s fair in love and basketball
Sanna Lathan and Omar Epps delivered these characters in a way that was real and emotional. From Monica’s sassy, arrogant, and guarded character to Quincy’s player and hard persona we became invested in the lives of each character and wished that we could have a love like there’s (except the break up!).
Syd: I thought it would be an adolescent memory I would look back on, like a crush on the captain of the football team, but I realize we have more than that, much more, we have a history, a friendship, we listen to each other, we laugh together, we finish each other’s lyrics. I don’t have to pretend with hip hop and hip hop doesn’t have to pretend with me. My feelings have never been more clear and I know they will never go away.
When did you fall in love with hip hop?
Again best friends turn lovers and A childhood love turns into adult confusion. Syd and Dre started out as friends in love with the same thing (HIP HOP). Dre was a successful A&R rep, while Syd was an entertainment/music journalist. Hip hop was there foundation that connected them to each other, but as time progressed they formed a undeniable bond that expanded there connection to more than music.
As these two grew up, they took different paths and found different people to be romantically involved with. Syd became in a relationship with a basketball player, while Dre married an entertainment lawyer. But even marriage couldn’t eliminate the love Dre had for Syd. In this movie, we found out that marriage does not always equal love, because Syd still had a special place in Dre’s hard that his wife couldn’t amount up to.
This movie showed us that sometimes we deny love when love is sitting right in front of our face. We don’t deny love all the time because we don’t love them, but rather because we are afraid of messing something up. It also taught us that it’s never good to confess love when it’s too late. Syd and Dre waited until each other got into relationships/marriages to confess there love to one another, which only caused a world of heart to their romantic partners.
Syd: I don’t have to pretend with hip-hop…and hip hop doesn’t have to pretend with me.
Sanna Lathan and Tate Diggs did an extraordinary in delivering an unforgettable performance. The last scene where Syd in on the radio metaphorically talking about Dre through Hip hop and Dre calling the radio station asking the famous question “When did you fall in love with Hip-Hop?” still plays in my mind and still remains one of the best scenes of a love film hands down.
This movie is also one of my favs. Because in a movie about Hip-Hop, it including Hip-hop legends like Queen Latifah and Mos Def in the cast.
All in all, this film taught us that love is complicated. There is no script or guidebook to who and how you should love. Love is an emotional rollercoaster at times, but it’s worth it!