Pros: Positive film about the Black experience; no guns, no drugs, no gangs!
Cons: Too Short
What is a Love Jones? that is the definitive question of the movie. Quite simply a Love Jones is the feeling one experiences when one falls in love; the quickening of the heart, the dulling of the mind, the heightening of passion, the explosion of lust Darius is a storyteller, an author, an artist, a spinner of tails, a poet, a player, a Romeo of the mike, a man on the make, not looking for exactly looking for the Love Jones. Nina is a romantic, a lover of poetry, an idealist, a photographer, an artist who paints scene and things, people and places with her lens; a believer in love and all of its promise, she is looking for the Love Jones. Nina and Darius meet by chance one night at a club for poets, and other artists. He spins for her a sexy, passionate, sex laden poem after meeting her at the bar, which leaves the audience hot and sweaty and Nina intrigued and willing to open her mind of not her heart to Darius.
At first she resists Darius advanceshaving just ended a relationship with a man unwilling to commitnot wanting to place her heart in harms way once again. But Darius charming, respectful, and persistent pursuits win her over and she agrees to a date; a date which ends in a night of lovemaking neither could have foreseen, but both willingly accepted, wanted and needed. The scene in which Nina discusses Darius effect on her with her girlfriend the next morning as they share a cab, has go to be a classic His manhood spoke to me she says to her girlfriend in a way to let you know that Darius abilities in bed match his rhetoric on the mike.
Love Jonesis set in contemporary Chicago and follows Darius (Larenz Tate), and Nina (Nia Long), as their relationship develops, falls apart, comes back together, falls apart, then comes back together, and then at the end of the movie we are left hanging, wondering if it will work, if the Love Joneswill keep them together. They both have past relationship to bring closure to, and like all relationships must learn to trust one another, while giving themselves permission to love. The movie is sharp, engaging, intelligent, sexy, smooth and deeply immersed in the Black intellectual sub-culture of Chicago. The character are ones I could identify with, would want to have fun with, would want to hang with, would want to laugh with, cry with and love.
There was not a gun, pimp, stash of drugs, cop(s), prostitute(s), or gang banger(s) anywhere to be seen, and I found that so refreshing. The lack of stereotyping was like a breath of fresh air, and its smell intoxicated me drawing me into the movie, making me care all that more for the characters because they were people I could identify with! And more importantly the movie showed another side of the Black community; one not often portrayed, but one I am happy to see more and more, in movies such as How Stella Got Her Grove Back, Soul Food, The Best Man, and Love and Basketball.
Nia Long and Larenz Tate are brilliant together, their chemistry is combustible, and the supporting cast is suburb. Nina long is captivating on the screen; her beautiful brown skin and deep captivating eyes mark her as one of the most seductive women in Hollywood. And Larenz Tate despite his boyish voice gave a solid performance. All-n-all I found Love Jonesa treat for senses; I laughed, I grooved, I was aroused, I grew misty eyed, I was enlightened, and I was proud. This is one to add to my burgeoning DVD collection.
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About the reviewer
Vincent Martin (vemartin)
I am an IT Professional and have worked in the industry for over 20 years. I may be a computer geek, but I also like reading, writing, cooking, music, current events and regretfully, politics.
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After an immediate infatuation (the titular "jones") blossoms between a once-bitten Chicagoan woman and a slick spoken-word artist, they've got to find a way to maintain their relationship. Screened at the Sundance Film Festival.