- Love Jones
Love Jones is a sexy, grown-folks cult-classic that is prime viewing any day of the week, but you bet we are watching it at some point over V-Day weekend.
The bohemian 1997 classic features Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) as a young Black writer in Chicago who happens to meet Nina Mosley (Nia Long), a skilled photographer, at a poetry reading he is giving at the Sanctuary, a hip nightclub. From there, we are forever mesmerized and changed by Darius and Nina’s love story.
Icing on the cake are poems written by Sonia Sanchez and a soulful movie soundtrack with classic songs from Lauryn Hill and Maxwell.
2. Love and Basketball
Chemistry oozes effortlessly between Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps in Love & Basketball, making this an easy Valentine’s Day weekend selection.
Love & Basketball premiered in 2000 and tells the story of Monica (Lathan) and Quincy (Epps) growing up as next-door neighbors and friends who both loved the game of basketball. Over the course of the movie, they will realize that their love goes deeper than the game.
3. Purple Rain
Purple Rain is a 1984 quasi-biographical film on Prince, referred to in the flick as “The Kid,” a sexy, motorcycle-driving, angry yet talented front man of his Minneapolis-band, The Revolution.
We get to see how Prince uses his music as therapy to deal with a tough home life plus increased pressure to stop performing at the First Avenue nightclub after his primary competition, Morris Day and The Time, seek to replace The Revolution with an all-girl group Morris put together, featuring Prince’s girlfriend, Apollonia.
The movie makes us cry and cheer and love hard, just like our fave, Prince.
Put your lighters in the air.
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4. With This Ring
This romantic comedy is about four friends embarking on a crazy relationship journey.
It all started with the New Year’s Eve marriage of Elise (Brooklyn Sudano), best friend to Trista (Regina Hall), Viviane (Jill Scott) and Amaya (Eve). After Elise tied the knot, Trista, Viviane and Amaya made a pact to get married within the next year.
Will wedding bells be in their future?
With This Ring first aired on Lifetime in 2015, and is available On Demand. Written and directed by Nzingha Stewart, the movie was adapted from the 2006 novel The Vow by Denene Millner, Angela Burt-Murray and Mitzi Miller.
5. The Inkwell
The Inkwell is both a coming of age movie and a love story starring Larenz Tate, Joe Morton, Suzzanne Douglass, Glynn Turman, Jada Pinkett and Vanessa Bell Calloway.
The movie is set in 1976 and is told through the eyes of 16-year-old Drew (Tate) who is on summer vacation with his family on Martha’s Vineyard, where he is thrust into an affluent black society who hangs out on a beach known as the Inkwell. It is here that Drew meets Heather (Adrienne-Joi Johnson), a young woman whose husband Harold (Morris Chestnut) is a cheater.
In the end … fireworks.
6. Poetic Justice
Some movies form the soundtracks of our young adult life. Poetic Justice is one of those movies.
The 1993 romantic drama, written and directed by John Singleton, starred Janet Jackson and Tupac Shakur, as well as Regina King and Joe Torry. The story centers around Justice (Jackson), a young woman living in South Central, LA, who is coping with the recent shooting death of her boyfriend Markell (Q-Tip).
In the film, Justice writes and recites poems (which are really written by Maya Angelou). She meets Lucky (Shakur), who plays a postal clerk.
On a road trip to Oakland, Lucky and Justice develop feelings for each other and we are all rooting them on.
Talk about poetic justice.
This romantic comedy is well-cast, uproariously funny, and has Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry as love interests. What is not to love?
In Boomerang, Murphy stars as Marcus Graham, a playboy advertising exec who meets his match when his new boss, Jacqueline Broyer (Robin Givens) treats him the same way he has been treating the women he dates.
Mahogany is a movie about the sacrifices we, especially women, make for love and to pursue our dreams. It came out in 1975 and features Diana Ross as Tracy Chambers, a struggling fashion design student from Chicago who becomes a sensational fashion designer in Rome.
She gives up a lot to pursue her professional dreams and eventually must make the tough choice of whether to continue going after her dreams or to come back to Brian Walker (Billy Dee Williams), the one man she loves.
9. Jason’s Lyric
Jason’s Lyric has scenes that are so gritty and violent that you almost forget just how beautiful the love story unfolds in this 1994 romantic drama starring Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett, Bokeem Woodbine, Treach, Eddie Griffin, Lahmard Tate, Lisa Nicole Carson, and Forest Whitaker. Shot in Houston’s Third Ward, Jason (Payne) works for a TV repair shop and one day, Lyric (Pinkett) walks into the shop to buy a television.
The two begin a beautiful love affair but it is one they will have to fight for with all of the violence and turmoil going on in their families.
Luckily, Jason’s Lyric is tough and lasting.
10. Beyond the Lights
Three simple words uttered by the cop, Kaz Nicol, (Nate Parker) in the beginning of Beyond the Lights kept me captivated from the jump: “I see you.”
Beyond the Lights is a beautiful 2014 American romantic drama film directed and written by Gina Prince-Bythewood and starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Minnie Driver, Danny Glover, and rapper Machine Gun Kelly. “Grateful,” a song written for the film by Diane Warren, was nominated for the Academy Award in 2015 for Best Original Song.
Noni Jean (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) plays a new singer who just won a Billboard Music Award, yet she begins to unravel due to the pressures brought on by her newfound fame and she tries to end her life. Her savior came in the form of Kaz, with whom she begins a romantic relationship and becomes who she was always meant to be.
Perfect tearjerker to watch while snuggling with your boo.