Love Jones

on March 14, 1997 by Pat Kramer
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   At last, a romantic drama has been written for an all-black cast featuring intelligent dialogue, an insightful and well-acted plot, and a showcase of the actors as genuine human beings, rather than exploiting them with plots filled with sex, drugs and violence. "love jones" tells the story of a group of young black adults and their viewpoints and misconceptions regarding finding love and holding on to it. The title refers to the addictive feeling that comes over main character Darius Lovehall ("Dead Presidents'" Larenz Tate) after he becomes blinded by his desire for the beautiful and sexy Nina ("Friday's" Nia Long"). Filmed in a downtown, working-class section of Chicago and backed by a red-hot jazz and blues score, the movie is enhanced by its beautiful photography and use of black-and-white imagery.
   Many scenes are filmed inside the Sanctuary, a nightclub where amateur poets take the stage to express their chosen affections. It's here that Darius first meets Nina, who has just recently decided never to fall in love again after a painful breakup. But ladies' man Darius is not one to quit easily; after repeated efforts, he finally wears the vulnerable Nina down. Their blissful union is short-lived, though; when life's pressures scrub away the affair's shiny gloss, each lover begins to see the other's flaws and weaknesses--and then the true game of love begins.
   Inspired by his college-days experiences, writer/director Theodore Witcher in his directorial debut gives audiences a new perspective on educated blacks who are not being oppressed, not taking a racial stand and not being exploited. Instead, his talented ensemble depicts the conflicts and challenges presented by love in a true, heartfelt fashion that is funny, poignant and downright realistic. It's about time somebody took a chance and made a film that says so much. Starring Larenz Tate, Nia Long and Isaiah Washington. Directed and written by Theodore Witcher. Produced by Nick Wechsler and Jeremiah Samuels. A New Line release. Romantic comedy. Rated R for language and sexuality. Running time: 110 min
Tags: tarring Larenz Tate, Nia Long and Isaiah Washington. Directed and written by Theodore Witcher, Produced by Nick Wechsler, Jeremiah Samuels, New Line, Romantic comedy
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