Love Jones (film)

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Love Jones

Theatrical release poster
Directed byTheodore Witcher
Produced byAmy Henkels
Helena Echegoyen
James Giovannetti Jr.
Jay Stern
Jeremiah Samuels
Julia Chasman
Michael Caldwell
Nick Wechsler
Written byTheodore Witcher
StarringLarenz Tate
Nia Long
Bill Bellamy
Isaiah Washington
Lisa Nicole Carson
Music byDarryl Jones
Wyclef Jean
CinematographyErnest Holzman
Editing byMaysie Hoy
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date(s)March 14, 1997 (1997-03-14)
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10,000,000 (approximately)
Box office$12,782,749 (Worldwide) [1]
 
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Love Jones

Theatrical release poster
Directed byTheodore Witcher
Produced byAmy Henkels
Helena Echegoyen
James Giovannetti Jr.
Jay Stern
Jeremiah Samuels
Julia Chasman
Michael Caldwell
Nick Wechsler
Written byTheodore Witcher
StarringLarenz Tate
Nia Long
Bill Bellamy
Isaiah Washington
Lisa Nicole Carson
Music byDarryl Jones
Wyclef Jean
CinematographyErnest Holzman
Editing byMaysie Hoy
Distributed byNew Line Cinema
Release date(s)March 14, 1997 (1997-03-14)
Running time108 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$10,000,000 (approximately)
Box office$12,782,749 (Worldwide) [1]

Love Jones is a 1997 American romantic drama film written and directed by Theodore Witcher, in his feature film debut. It stars Larenz Tate, Nia Long, Isaiah Washington, Bill Bellamy, and Lisa Nicole Carson.

Two of the poems recited by Nia Long's character, Nina, were written by Sonia Sanchez and are included in her book Like the Singing Coming Off the Drums: Love Poems.[2]

Contents

Synopsis

In Chicago, Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) is a poet who is giving a reading at the Sanctuary, an upscale nightclub presenting jazz and poetry to a bohemian clientele. Shortly before his set, he meets Nina Mosley (Nia Long), a gifted photographer who recently lost her job. They exchange small talk, and Darius makes his interest clear when he retitles his love poem "A Blues For Nina". A mutual attraction is sparked between them, and Darius invites himself back to her place to persistently ask her out. They have sex on the first date, but neither Darius or Nina are sure where to go next after this promising start. Nina has just gotten out of a relationship and isn't sure if she still cares for her old boyfriend or not, while at the same time Darius' friends read him the riot act for wanting to give up his freedom so early on in the game. From then on, their relation and everything else change for both of them.

Production

The producers of the film said that they wanted to make a modern film about African-American life that did not use violence and recreational drugs as elements in the story.[3]

Cast

ActorRole
Larenz TateDarius Lovehall
Nia LongNina Mosley
Isaiah WashingtonSavon Garrison
Lisa Nicole CarsonJosie Nichols
Bill BellamyHollywood
Leonard RobertsEddie Coles
Bernadette L. ClarkeSheila Downes
Khalil KainMarvin Cox
Cerall DuncanTroy Garrison
David NisbetPublisher
Simon JamesRoger Lievsey
Oona HartModel — Lievsey Studio
Jaqueline FlemingLisa Martin
Manao DeMuthNina's Assistant
Marie-Françoise TheodoreTracey Powell

Reception

The film currently holds a 67% approval rating at Rotten Tomatoes.

Roger Ebert awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars, and expressed the view that "There is also a bow to the unconventional in the ending of his film. Many love stories contrive to get their characters together at the end. This one contrives, not to keep them apart, but to bring them to a bittersweet awareness that is above simple love. Some audience members would probably prefer a romantic embrace in the sunset, as the music swells. But Love Jones is too smart for that." He also noted on the acting: "It's hard to believe that Tate--so smooth, literate and attractive here--played the savage killer O-Dog in Menace II Society. Nia Long was Brandi, one of the girl friends, in Boyz N the Hood. Love Jones extends their range, to put it mildly".[4]

James Berardinelli also awarded the film 3 out of 4 stars for ReelReviews, and he determined that "There are several reasons why this film works better than the common, garden-variety love story. To begin with, the setting and texture are much different than that of most mainstream romances. The culture, in which post-college African Americans mingle while pursuing careers and relationships, represents a significant change from what we're used to. The Sanctuary, the intimate Chicago nightclub where Darius and Nina meet, is rich in its eclectic, bluesy atmosphere. And Love Jones's dialogue is rarely trite. When the characters open their mouths, it usually is because they have something intelligent to say, not because they're trying to fill up dead air with meaningless words".[5]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Love Jones". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=lovejones.htm. Retrieved 2011-10-19. 
  2. ^ http://projectblaq.com/blog/2011/04/01/black-classic-flashback-love-jones-for-national-poetry-month/
  3. ^ Seavor, Jim. "'love jones' is a fresh look at an oft-told tale." The Providence Journal. March 14, 1997. E03. Retrieved on February 11, 2012. "The people behind love jones say they wanted to make a contemporary film about African-American life that did not deal with guns and drugs"
  4. ^ "Love Jones". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19970314/REVIEWS/703140302. 
  5. ^ http://www.reelviews.net/movies/l/love_jones.html

External links