Reviewed by: Christopher Utley
After years of seeing African-American films with nothing but gangs and violence and ghetto life, “Love Jones” is a refreshment… sort of. It stars Larenz Tate as a Chicago poet/novelist and Nia Long as an aspiring photographer. The film documents their meeting, their falling in love (lust), and their constant break-ups and reconciliation.
On the plus side, the music (primarily jazz) was excellent. It has exposed many youth to jazz in a different fashion. I bought the soundtrack after seeing it. The photography was excellent and the acting was good. Great use of supporting characters. The vibe of this film was, once again, a refreshing change of pace from the usual doom and gloom of African-American film in the 90's.
THE PROBLEM: The lead characters so-called love affair was totally based on sex. WRONG (see 1 Corinthians 6:13-20) There’s a gross scene with Long and her best friend, played by Lisa Nicole Carson that plays back and forth with a scene of Tate and his best friend, played by Isaiah Washington. This scene goes into graphic detail about their sexual experience (which, incidentally, happened on their FIRST DATE!) and the physical gratification they got from it.
As the film progresses and they begin to have problems, the writer and director sets up situations where they hide their true feelings for each other… which they call love but is really burning lust and desire. That’s the “jones” in “love jones.” They keep breaking up, but the sex keeps them coming back.
The sex totally ruined this film. The graphic sexual language and sex scenes give this film an R. Don’t take any kids to see it. Don’t even take your singles church group to see it. “Love Jones” totally misses the mark and Jesus would not be proud.
Year of Release—1997