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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Movie Review: Black, Sexy, Love--- Finally!

It has been discussed on this blog several times how Black sex/love/intimacy is rarely shown in films, especially in a realistic way.... really maybe not since the Blaxploitation of the 70's. Well, the film I am reviewing in this post certainly leaves those longings in the dust.

Had the pleasure of seeing "A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy", and wowee. I. Freaking. Loved. It. I don't even know where to start.

It is a series of vignettes that show the perils and beauty of love and sex with several Black couples; the adulterous situation, the selfish lover, the love relationship that hits you out of the blue.

It opened with an "O" face shot, and a scene I wasn't too crazy about called "Reciprocity", in which a woman gets hers (downtown ifyaknowwhatimean) and doesn't want to reciprocate. "Oh boy, here we go", I thought, rapidly losing interest and thinking that this must be a typical, low budget outlook on Black male/female relationships...but after that--just wow. The next story, called "Her Man", involves a couple--the man being married, and the woman--being the mistress--making the mistake of starting to care too much, and making the inevitable demand for him to spend more time with her and being jealous of wifey. It is so real, so natural, and rang so true you it makes you think "damn, they really got this". It made me super curious to see the rest....and no matter who you are, you will find a strong affinity for at least one of these vignettes.

Some of the movie shows the beautiful, powerful side of Black love, some of it shows the ugliness, which is just as powerful, sometimes even more so if you let it be so. It is intelligent, humorous, and yes, sexy and erotic. Sometimes it was so sexy that it made Ms. Invisible hot in her seat, but I won't go much further into detail as sometimes Poppy Invisible, my father, peeks in here once in a while. My favorite is the story "Tonight, Part II", and I immediately had an hour long crush on both the male and female leads. It was absolutely affecting in it's shows how the power of silent, unknown attraction can be so mighty in it's power and emotion, it just makes all logic go out the window. You are completely out of your realm and comfort zone, but you are almost Zen in your focus that all you want is this person, and nothing else is really as important.

It made me remember one comedian, who I was meeting for the first time to set up a styling session, was at a radio station giving an interview. While I was sitting there in reception listening to him talk, I found myself becoming immensely attracted to him, I don't even know why. He looked out of the glass a couple times, but nothing seemed to register on his face--I didn't even think that he saw me. When the interview was over, he promptly came out, walked straight over and laid his body on the back of the sofa I was sitting on, and just started touching my neck and arm, real soft. In a normal situation that would have completely freaked me out, but at that time it felt like he should be doing it--and he did it before he even said hello to me.

"Tonight, Part II" is a story like that, and you drink in all of it with all of your senses. Director Dennis Dortch has one hell of an amazing eye for just beautifully sensual shots, focus, and colors that make you just feel it in your bones. Even the sound of beads clicking in someone's cornrows, or the way someone's t-shirt fits looks/sounds/feels sexy. You smell the leather in the seats of someone's car, feel the texture of the sheets on the bed. Even the music is completely on point. The characters were all amazing, in natural acting ability and to look at. I just hate when some people say "oh, they're light, or have good hair, or whatever else, so they must be 'mixed'". Black people are the most diverse in looks on earth, sometimes even in the same family, and Dortch shows us in every shade, color, and hair texture, which I loved. The girl in "Tonight", Mylika Davis, was particularly beautiful to me; young, petite, with a perfect jewel of a dark brown face. Her love interest, Jerome Hawkins, just might be my sixth husband :-)

The last vignette "American Boyfriend", focusing on interracial Black and Asian culture, was sort of a weak finish, but is still miles ahead of any Black Cinema I've seen for months. From what I've read, the stories are supposed to take place in Los Angeles, but everything had the look, feel, and flavor of New York to me.

This is a breath of fresh air movie about real Black love and sexual situations, sometimes almost graphic in it's rawness. It opens you up like a flower, and makes you think about past, present, and future love/lovers. Unless you are just the biggest prude ever, once you finish watching this movie you will be ready to smash anybody with a pulse, haha! It was released yesterday on DVD, Ms. Invisible says check it out, stat.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Black Cinema At Large is giving away a bootleg-free DVD copy of "A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy" in a little, bitty contest. Tell me what you think is the sexiest Black Cinema scene ever and why--my favorite will win this wonderful movie (we may have to vote!) just in time for Valentine's day. Leave it in the comments folkses-contest ends Saturday at midnight, PST!


Black Yoda said...

I'm going to have to check this out. I'll have to think about a favorite and postmy choice later

The Obenson Report said...

So, did you like it?


I mostly agree... an auspicious debut for Mr Dennis Dortch. Raw, gritty, witty... looking forward to seeing what he does next.

It was a somewhat good year to be black and sexy in 2008. We saw the release of 2 indie "relationship movies"/romantic comedies by black filmmakers, starring young black men and women - "A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy," and Barry Jenkins' "Medicine For Melancholy" - and both couldn't be more different from one another in terms of style and overall approach.

That's a good thing, I think. It shows some much needed variety within the realm of what we refer to as "black cinema" - specifically in indie-world.

noelanimahana said...


I typed a long arse response and then got an error message!

Anyway, my pick for best scene depicting black love, is (no surprise), Jason's Lyric.

Jada Pinkett in the grass, blades thinning veiling her thighs, Allen beside her, above her ... kissing, stroking and all that jazz.

It was beautifully shot.

Reading your review, I became very excited, I really want to see this film. It gives me hope that more stories of this caliber will be made and find their way to wider audiences and that makes it a damn good day to be black (grown) and sexy!

N. Mahana said...

damn, sorry for my typo in the above message, I meant to say "thinly veiling"

MrsGrapevine said...

I like Hav Plenty, I think it captured flirting and intimacy without being vulgar.

boris said...

speaking of black love. i was doin an animated scene for this game im designing and i made a black love scene and i realised that u dont really get that.
u normally get like big wife who always cooks and yells at lazy big husband who groans bout 'being with this damn woman'. such a powerful and educational scene if i must say

haha anyways enough bout me lol. i'ed this flick when u mentioned it awhile back and been dying to see it. i LOVE flicks with mini stories

my pick for hottest scene goes to Disappearing Acts. its got wesley and Sanaa Lathan........woowee that shit is hot and heavy, and this was before women abandoned wesly and jumped on idris elba HAHA

boris said...

oh and that flick has waaay too many sexy time flicks

SolShine7 said...

My favorite black love scene is from Gina Prince-Bythewood's Love and Basketball. That scene where Quincy and Monica finally get together is beautiful. The soundtrack definitely adds to its power. Why? They're lovers, their friends and that movie showcases black love in such a simply profound way.

charcoalink said...

I love that picture you put with the girl and the Afro. Gorgeous!!

Is this film getting released abroad the US?

Urban Thought said...

I see you're coming back strong, and with a contest... wow.

You know I wish I could participate. I cannot even think of one. But once this movie hits some place reachable from where I lay my head, I'm there.

noelanimahana said...

Omg! I just remembered another one of my favorites ... Larenz Tate and Nia Long in Love Jones, when they are making love on the chair. That scene was really beautiful too, especially against Cassandra Wilson's You move me.

*Is it me or is it hot in herre?*

jaceeel said...

It's sad that i can't think of any off the top of my head.

Also, Noah's Arch, jump the broom is streaming on Netfix.

clnmike said...

Well I am sold, I'll check it out.

msladydeborah said...

This is about the third time that I have seen this particular movie mentioned.

I am going to have to check it out.

I was present during the Blaxplotation Era. I sat in the theatre and watched while Shaft's woman just fluttered her fingers as a signal of total satisfaction with their lovemaking and practically every flick since then.

When I think of what scene in a movie provided me with a realistic satisfying moment-it was in Waiting to Exhale. When Wesley and Angie met, cuddled and did not have sex. I believe that came across that way because the real need they had at that moment was being met.

It may not win the prize-but this is how I feel.

madame z said...

IW I want this dvd!!!

But I think I've missed the deadline.

I'm gonna comment anyway; someone mentioned it above, but Nia Long and Larenz Tate Love Jones...YES YES will have some please YES LOL

Tafari said...

Damn I missed the deadline! Fuck! I never win. You set me up!


La Diva Sim said...

You made this movie sound so interesting I will have to keep an eye out for it. I wish I hadnt missed the deadline, but I have to vote for msladydeborah. I loved that Angela and Wesley didnt have to have sex to keep it sexy, very classy scene.

Black Yoda said...

It was an interesting film. Didn't like the Reciprocity scene, huh? :-) I would definitely predict that kind of reaction from many women. Expecting a favorable reaction from women is like expecting "Men on Film" to like "Set it Off" :-) Anyway, the guys were definitely portrayed negatively for the most part. Let's see: We have an adulterer, a guy that was nearly sodomized by his girl:-(?, a guy that left a woman on the side of the road...I guess the brother locked in his girlfriend's room or the acountant guy with the baby mama drama was repping for us?:-| The most righteous dude was the damn I guess he wasn't old enough to be portrayed as a screw-up :-)

You should checkout "Diary of a Tired Black Man". You'll really be pissed off :-)

Invisible Woman said...

@black yoda: yes, you do have to check it out. in answer to your comment below, no, I didn't like reprococity, but not for the reasons you think. as a matter of fact, i thought the chick in that scene was all sorts of foul. i didn't like it cause i thought the story was weak. so now you know ms. invisible is no one's typical woman

@obenson: does it show that i liked it? lol

@noelanimahana: thanks for your comment, but i think i may be biased cause jada dances on my last nerve. but i did love me some allen payne back in the day, for reals!

@mrsgrapevine: beleive it or not, this movie isn't vulgar, and i must admit, i have nothing good to say about hav plenty :-(

Black Yoda said...

You thought the story was weak and she was foul. That's exactly what I would expect. How much of that reaction comes from that fact that she was selfish? I'm not focusing on what she didn't do. My point has little to do with sex. I'm focusing on how she was portrayed in the scene. I think many women would take exception with the portrayal and think it's by no means a common way of behaving. Consequently, they would find the story and her to be inauthentic and.....ummm...weak :-)

This was the only scene where the woman was portrayed negatively or behaved negatively with no justification or mitigating circumstances. In contrast, you had the case of the "other woman" acting badly in reaction to the two-timing guy. The "other woman" acted badly on the phone towards his wife, but they set it up in such a way where you could see she cared for him. You could tell when the wife asked her if she loved him. She acted out of emotion and I think many women could at least identify with that more so than a woman who was just selfish with no reason to be as was the case in the first scene.

I don't know....every girl I know who's seen this tends to "dislike" the first scene. I'm just trying to dig a little deeper to understand why :-) turns out that the first scene is one of your least favorites too. Coincidence? Maybe :-) So far my tally of women who dislike that first scene to those who like it is 7 to 0. With you, it's 8 to 0. It's by no means a scientific poll, but I'm just saying though :-) I can't wait to see your review of Diary of a Tired Black Man. Then we'll see what's what :-) I'll send you my review of the film if I can find it.