Since Valentine’s Day is upon us, I thought I would be fun to share some of my favorite black couples in film. It’s so rare that we see black people being affectionate with and loving one another. So, I want to acknowledge the films that do so unabashedly.
1. Nicole and Brian in All About You (Renee Goldsberry and Terron Brooks) : All About You is one of my favorite movies ever. The small, independent film was written and directed by Christine Swanson. In the film, Nicole and Brian are both running from their past when they end up sharing an apartment. Nicole is vulnerable. Brian is unsure of who he is. He tells her: “You have to leave room for surprises.” What I love about them as a couple it that they complement each other so well. In my favorite scene, they realize just how they feel about each other while singing at a wedding. It’s a magical cinematic moment.
2. Tracy and Brian in Mahogany (Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams) : I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this movie. From their first meeting, you are rooting for Tracy and Brian. And when Brian uttered those famous words, “success is nothing without someone you love to share it with” you feel his love for Tracy. You believe him. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the music. ‘Do You Know Where You’re Going To’ aka the ‘Theme from Mahogany’ is an amazing love song. The music makes you love Tracy and Brian that much more.
3. Fatima and Alex in She Hate Me (Kerry Washington and Dania Ramirez): She Hate Me is one of my favorite Spike Lee joints. The film is flawed, but I am willing to overlook many of the problems mainly because of the strength of the cast, namely Washington, Ramirez, and lead actor Anthony Mackie. It is rare that we get to see a loving and sexual lesbian relationship between women of color. Therefore, the image of Fatima and Alex together is an important one and one that I think was handled well. What I like most about Fatima and Alex is that despite their drama, you can tell they genuinely love each other.
4. Nina and Darius in Love Jones (Nia Long and Larenz Tate): Heralded by many as the definitive black love story, over a decade after its release, Love Jones is now a classic. The love story between Nina and Darius is iconic. Sparks fly immediately, but it’s complicated. As they work to determine the status of their relationship (are they in love or just kicking it?) we are taken along on their journey. Watching Nina and Darius, you immediately become invested.
5. Eva and Ray in Deliver Us From Eva (Gabrielle Union and LL Cool J): I absolutely LOVE Deliver Us From Eva. If it’s on TV, I’m watching. What I love most is the chemistry between Eva and Ray. Even though she initially resists, his charm softens her seemingly impenetrable exterior and he grows to love the real Eva. And let’s be honest, they are arguably two of the most beautiful people on the planet.
Who are your favorite movie couples?