So Valentine’s Day will be here on Monday, and what other way to prepare than to watch a few sappy love stories. Well these movies aren’t so sappy, they’re realistic, funny, and classic love stories starring some of your favorite black actors in Hollywood. Whether you plan to stay in on V-Day or go out watching a few flicks this weekend will surely get you in the mood for love!
Love Jones – 1997
Love Jones is a classic romantic movie. It stars Nia Long and Lorenz Tate. The movie is set in Chicago during the 90’s and is about a sudden romance that sparks between two strangers. They connect over their love for art, music, and photography. Their whirlwind romance is suddenly halted when exes come into the picture. You have to watch to see how this ends, I’ve always felt this movie deserved a sequel.
Love & Basketball – 2000
Love & Basketball is another classic black romantic film on my list. I know this movie like the back of my hand. This film stars Sanna Lathan and Omar Epps, the two become friends during their childhood and connect over their love of basketball. The two eventually fall in love while in college but go their separate ways after graduating college and entering the real world. They eventually reconnect and their love is an ode to ‘finding the one’ or experiencing love at first sight.
Beyond the Lights – 2014
Beyond the Lights stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker. It chronicles the rise to fame super stardom of a singer who begins to experience sadness loneliness during her rise to the top. After Nate Parker, her bodyguard stops her from jumping from her balcony and committing suicide the two fall deeply in love and runaway to Mexico together.
Brown Sugar – 2002
Brown Sugar is set with the backdrop of NYC and stars Sanna Lathan and Taye Diggs. The two bonded over their love of hip hop as kids and eventually grew up to both become employed in the industry. Lathan’s character became a successful and respected music critic while Diggs’s character becomes a music executive, who is unfulfilled. Diggs’s divorces his wife, and professes his love for Lathan, while Lathan’s character is actively dating. The two eventually end up together.
The Best Man – 1999
I can remember watching The Best Man at family gatherings as a kid… of course while the ‘bad parts’ were skipped for my immature eyes. This film chronicles the relationships of a group of college friends in their adult lives. One is an NFL star who is marrying his college sweetheart, but finds out days before his wedding the his innocent bride to be has been holding a secret of infidelity involving his best friend from him since college. Yikes! You have to watch how this one ends.
The Photograph – 2020
‘The Photograph‘ was released on Valentine’s Day 2 years ago, how sweet! The film stars Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield. Issa’s character finds love after experiencing extreme heartbreak following her mother’s death. Researching the earlier years of her mother’s life after finding a photograph leads her to a unexpected romance with rising Journalist, played by Stanfield. This is a must see.
Queen and Slim – 2019
‘Queen and Slim’ tool me on a roller coaster of emotions while watching. This is one of my favorite movies and one of the most traumatizing. This movie definitely gives Romeo & Juliet vibes with the way it ends. This movie is also reminiscent of the tale of Bonnie & Clyde. Queen and Slim stars Daniel Kaluuya & Jodie Turner-Smith. This film follows the story of an awkward first date that eventually blossoms into a romance that leads to the untimely demise of both characters.