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 magnetism...it 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!