BB2 Monthly Assessment: July

Hello! I’m back from my longest blog hiatus yet (2 weeks) after being highly busy with YEPAW – prepping it, the week itself, and recovering from it. What is YEPAW you may ask? I’ll talk about that in a minute for those unaware. I also aged this month…a couple days ago. And yes, I hit a milestone once again that symbolized how far I’ve come recently. Let me explain.

YEPAW stands for Youth Excellence Performing Arts Workshop, and it’s a 25-year-old youth ministry started to prove that today’s youth are not a hopeless generation. What began as a youth gospel choir of a handful of teens in a church over time emerged & branched out into a large program during which for one week, a few hundred teens attend to take classes in the arts (voice, drumline, step, mime, drama, sign language, dance, etc.), learn 10 songs as a mass choir, stay in dorms with counselors, listen to speakers, and encounter several things geared towards learning about being excellent in their lifestyles through the arts and through Jesus. At the end of the week, we put on a big closing concert for the community to showcase the songs, class presentations, and everything that we’ve been instilled with, along with the charge to take it to apply towards out lived & walk with God. Many people have had their lives transformed by YEPAW, myself included. Many have given their lives to God at YEPAW, and/or made friendships & connections with people whom remain in their lives for a lifetime. (It’s really hard to “describe” this program & its’ impact…it truly is something you just have to SEE in action.)

ANYWAY! Last week was YEPAW week, and as exhausting of an experience as it usually is (it’s called ‘WORKshop’ for a reason!), it’s always extremely rewarding to watch so many kids start to make positive transformations. Of course you have the ones who are tougher to deal with (defying rules, talking out of place, etc.) but in the end, it’s worth it every year even if only one kid were to turn their life towards Jesus. However, they’re not the only ones who reap spiritual benefits. I had a good few moments during the week – reflective moments when God’s spirit really just surrounded the place – when everyone was deep, deep, deep in worship to God or praying to turn their lives over to Him, and all I can do it sit there and think about how far He’s brought me over the past year. I shouldn’t even be here. How did I make it this far?

The answer doesn’t solely lie on “I worked hard.” It’s not just “I have a supportive family.” It’s not just “I’m smart.” A year ago I was in the beginning stages of my suppressed depression over who I was, what I was doing, where I was going, and how worth it everything was; on top of feeling alone. I did and said things that were a reaction of someone outside myself. Today, I am stronger, more consistent, more thoughtful, and much more aware of myself and what makes me who I am. I keep myself driven, and seek God more in what I’m doing/thinking so to avoid yielding towards the wrong side of the road whenever possible. I’m far from perfect, but I’m more conscious of my thoughts, actions and direction. Because of that, this week I thought to myself several times as I looked up to God, thinking/saying “Why am I here?”

There’s only one answer, and as I reflect on a quarter of my life now being complete, I can state it having lived the answer to its’ fullest: GOD. God has brought me to where I am. Yes, I’ve worked hard, and been supported by a great family and all that. But if you take away everything else I have going for me, God has provided it all and kept me alive. I promise, as bad off as I was before, He is the only one strong enough to depend on in true times of real trial and struggle. If God hadn’t kept me going over the past year and caught me when I fell, I wouldn’t be here. If he hadn’t still pointed me in the direction of opportunities for my future, I would have stayed in turmoil and missed out on the path He laid out for me. So as I reflect on this past month, as much as I could talk about that has happened, that really is my biggest and most important takeaway – that God has truly had my back and kept me all this time. Why does He do it? Because He loves us – past our crap, past our huge screwups, past our faults. It’s that love that you’ll never find anywhere else, and because of that it drives us INSANE. But it’s the truth!

The question is: what are we going to do about it?

-BB2

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Music Monday: Great is Thy Faithfulness

Hello all, and welcome to another segment of #MusicMonday! In this segment, we’ll talk about favorite songs, artists & genres and their role in music in order to keep great music alive. Today we’re talking about a well known hymn that has lived on for almost a century and gotten many believers through many a challenge:

Great is Thy Faithfulness started as a poem written by Thomas O. Chisholm in 1923 based on his own experience with God’s faithfulness. He sent it to William Runyan, who set the poem to music and had it published by the Hope Publishing company, and it later became popular among churches via hymnals & such. The refrain goes:

“Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”

To me, there is no truer statement to sum up this entire song than the 3rd line of this refrain. There are just things that we cannot do on our own, whether we want to face up to it or not. When times get extremely challenging in our lives and push us to a wall where we can’t face it on our own, it’s that trust in God & His provisions that get us through. Yesterday morning at my church for the sermon, we sung a few hymns (starting with this one) and then had brief discussions in small groups based on some follow up questions such as “Where have you seen God’s faithfulness in your life? How do you know He’s faithful?” For me personally, I can definitely say that God has placed certain people in my life at my rough moments. Whether it was my family understanding and supporting me when I needed it; or even being around loving church members & coworkers who don’t necessarily know something’s going on but they create the positive environment I needed to be in; or someone who I meet and can almost instantly relate to when going into new territory; or even someone who did or said something small but extremely kind that made me stop and put my issues in perspective & they didn’t even realize it – these are all the kinds of people God will place around me at just the right time for the right reasons, because He knows it’s what I need during my rough spell to stay encouraged and get through life’s bumps in the road.

How often do we sing these songs (or any songs) and not take a step back to really think about the meaning of them, or their impact? It’s so easy to pop a song on in the car and just have it as background noise because you’ve heard it so many times. But it’s so important to know what you’re putting into your ears, because whether you realize it or not, this is what will go into your soul. With songs as powerful as Great is Thy Faithfulness, it’s overwhelming to think about just how faithful God has been in my life…let alone the lives of every other person in so many ways! Some of us should be dead right now, or extremely ill, or destitute, or very discouraged from a lack of success, the list goes on. But no matter what our position in life is right now, no matter how much money we do or don’t have, the bottom line is, if you are sitting here reading this, God still has us on this Earth for some reason, and He continues to make provisions for us every day here and there to keep us on the journey He’s laid out for us. The question then becomes, what will we do about it?

Thanks for reading today, and I hope you enjoyed this glorious hymn as well as any others that might impact your life in a special way! Please feel free to share a hymn or song that means a lot to you, and let’s keep meaningful music of all kinds continuing to live on and touch lives.

Have a great week, and sing on my brethren!
BB2

PS: Singer in the video is the great gospel artist, Fred Hammond, performing some years ago on TBN.

Top 11 Weirdest Things in The Muppet Movie

muppet movie
I had the fortune of growing up loving the Muppets as a kid. They were always fun, creative, original, entertaining, and best of all, they always put on movies & shows that people could watch as a family. (Well, almost always. Cough.) Jim Henson released The Muppet Movie in 1979, and it has become a classic hit even to this day, starting off their strong movie career for future decades. The story consisted of Kermit the Frog seeking out for a shot in Hollywood, and along the way meeting new friends to join him on the road to this dream, including Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Miss Piggy, the Electric Mayhem, Rowlf the Dog, and many, many others. Along the roadtrip, Kermit is continually hunted down by Doc Hopper, a madman who wants Kermit to serve as the mascot for his new frog legs restaurant. The story has heart, the characters are lovable, there are tons of cameos of then-big names (Steve Martin, Edgar Bergen, Richard Pryor, Dom DeLuise, Bob Hope, Mel Brooks, etc.) and enough one-liners to last a lifetime.

As wonderfully nostalgic as this movie is…I finally realized upon re-watch the very few (but eyebrow-raising obvious!) things in this movie that either don’t make sense or are just plain weird. Some of these might just be the fun of the story…but I don’t know. Some of these need answers! Haha. So join me as I count the Top 10 Weirdest Things in The Muppet Movie!

  1. Dr. Honeydew is a jerk to Muppets.
    Fozzie: I’m so nervous…if no one likes this movie, I’ll have to move away forever.
    Honeydew: Yeah you’ll have to get a new apartment, won’t you?
    the_muppet_movie_beaker_benson_honeydew
  2. Dom DeLuise’s newspaper ad specifically says “Hollywood: now looking for frogs looking to be famous.” That’s…freaking convenient.
    muppet movie dd
  3. Doc Hopper spies on Kermit’s legs from afar and stalks him for the entire film around the country. That’s weird. Also…the girls in Hopper’s TV commercial did not want to be there – they’re just bouncing around.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_I4KDExIsk
  4. The “myth” running gag. Twice, Kermit claims something is a myth, a woman shows up and says “yes?” I don’t get it…?
    (The joke may be that she has a lisp and think Kermit is saying ‘miss’, calling her…might be the weakest joke in the movie just because it took me 20 years and an in-depth internet study to discover meaning of said joke.)
  5. The Electric Mayhem disguised Fozzie’s car in the oddest array of bright colors. How is it that literally as soon as Kermit & Fozzie leave, Doc & Max find them anyway? And being right behind them, how do they miss their car driving right up on a billboard?! And why is the billboard the exact same colors as their car? (Okay, that part is funny…but what. Lol.)
  6. Piggy’s song that takes place out of nowhere when she sees Kermit for the first time…right as she’s winning a beauty pageant.
    muppet movie Neverbefore
  7. Richard Pryor starts to propose which balloon colors Gonzo should take, and he doesn’t say black. You’re going soft, Richard Pryor.
  8. Doc Hopper calls a German mad scientist Mel Brooks to fix his problems. First mistake.
    muppet movie Professor_Krassman
  9. How in the world did Piggy’s agent find her at the restaurant…and ESPECIALLY at the mad scientist’s lab after she had been kidnapped there?!
  10. Doc Hopper puts a hit out for Kermit over the radio they they happen to hear…but why didn’t someone else hear that & call this guy in to have him committed?
  11. Piggy’s face when she’s beating up German Mel Brooks and his crew. And she does keep it the entire fight scene…why so scary?!?

Sharing the dream,
-BB2

P.S. Somebody please get Sweetums a friend.

Think Like a Man Too: Good RomCom, or Kevin Hart’s Party?

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Think Like A Man Too (2014)
I loved the first movie a couple years ago based on the self-help book for women by the one and only Steve Harvey. That movie took Harvey’s ideas for things to think about & try in relationships by having characters meet others and form couples, literally using Harvey’s book to learn what would help in their relationship attempts. This new sequel is about the couples reuniting for the wedding weekend of Michael and Candace in – where else? – Las Vegas! I went into this movie hearing mixed reviews. Many fans of the original said this installment (which is doing well in the box office) was hilarious! Meanwhile critics & others said it was a lackluster sequel cashing in on both the well-known ‘wedding party in Vegas mishaps’ movie…and of course, the phenomenon that is Kevin Hart, doing a lot of turning up & yelling. I totally understand both sides of this…so how was Think Like a Man Too? Let’s find out!

TLAM-1

SUMMARY
Michael and Candace (Terrence Jenkins & Regina Hall) are having their wedding in Vegas, and all their friends are gathering out there to give each of them the best bachelor & bachelorette parties of their lives the night before. Each couple is happy with their each other since we saw them last, but they are also dealing with their own issues while on this trip. The groom’s mother (Jenifer Lewis) still can’t loosen the reins from her son, going so far as to stay in the hotel suite next to them, create dos and don’ts lists for their parties, and impose herself into the bachelorette party. Lauren & Dominic (Taraji P. Henson & Michael Ealy) are extremely in love with each other and very loyal…but how loyal can they be when they are both offered the jobs of their dreams in cities across the country from each other? Mya (Meagan Good) keeps watching Zeke (Romany Malco) encounter flings from his past, and she isn’t sure she can trust him since he doesn’t talk about it much…but is he really willing to commit to Mya more than he did to the others? Then there’s Kristen (Gabrielle Union) who’s practically forcing Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara) to have a baby without realizing that he isn’t ready for fatherhood. And of course, there’s Cedric (Kevin Hart) who, due to a misunderstanding, thinks he’s the Best Man, and sets out on a mission to throw Michael the best bachelor party ever…however amid all the chaos of Vegas, he gets the big head and his reasons shift to doing it just to show off rather than taking Michael’s true wishes in mind. Somewhere between the drinking, casino gambling, hook-ups, British, pot strips, strips club fights and then some, everyone has to remember what matters most to them most – each other.

WHAT WORKS

  1. Characters/Actors – Each couple + what they face + and how they triumph = the true heart and success of this movie. These are the kind of people who should have gotten their own short-lived television series about how to survive a marriage/relationship, not the Marcus & Angela soap opera. (Okay, okay, I still like them…but that show suffered from a few points of bad writing. But I digress.) And I really think each of these actors did a fantastic job. I love Taraji, Gabrielle Union, Regina Hall’s innocence, Michael Ealy…just a great cast.
  2. Chemistry – The main cast has such a great bond together! You genuinely get the feel that with everything they go through, they really do display a good friendship and enjoy each other’s company (even when they can’t stand each other). They make you think of you & your own ride-or-die friends, and how you guys would handle a crazy trip in Vegas. Without watching behind the scenes specials of this movie, I get the vibe that this cast really enjoyed working with each other.
    TLAM-2
  3. Kevin Hart is Hilarious. That goes without saying – thankfully, the funny scenes aren’t all thrown in the trailer and that’s it. I laughed with this guy throughout the course of the movie, and enjoyed every second of it. My favorite scenes with him are his interactions with his British butler, Declan. But yes, Kevin Hart is clearly the life of this party and he makes it well-known. Was it great? Yes. Was it too much? Well…see the ‘What Doesn’t Work’ section.
    TLAM-3
  4. Gary Owen – Can somebody just give him an award for being great at what he does? Gary’s oblivious ‘token white guy’ character (Bennett) is just too good. Wendi McLendon-Covey plays his wife Tish in this film, and she’s pretty funny as well (mostly by the second half).

    "Ladies...shall we?"

    “Ladies…shall we?”

  5. Jenifer Lewis – This lady is stellar by nature. While you despise Michael’s mother being as terrible towards Candace as she is, you can’t deny how great she plays this character. Honestly, this was probably the first time I watched Jenifer Lewis in a movie and wasn’t thinking “oh yeah, that’s Jenifer Lewis.” Instead I just saw Loretta, a mother whom I am very sorry to those who may actually have this mother in real life.
  6. Cameos – I don’t want to ruin anything for those who haven’t seen it yet…but there are a couple of very “WHAT” surprising cameos that I wasn’t expecting. However it made me laugh, so…make of that what you will. (We even get a glimpse of Terrell Carter from some of the Tyler Perry plays last decade! Good to see he’s still out there…still shirtless.)
  7. Comedy – I admit, this movie made me laugh more often than I thought it would. I wish it was better balanced with the story in certain ways…but lawd, when I laughed at the guys in jail or the ladies mistaking gum for pot, I laughed very hard. The atmosphere of the movie was very fun, all in all.
  8. Michael/Candace/Mom’s Resolution – I don’t want to give this away either…but let’s just say that of all the resolutions for each couple, this is the most impactful, important, and just the best dramatic acting done in the whole movie…in my humble opinion.

WHAT DOESN’T QUITE WORK

  1. Kevin Hart Narrating – As I’ve shared before, I like Kevin Hart. He’s genuinely a hilarious, talented comedian, and he’s usually the highlight of most films he’s in. While I still find him hilarious in this movie, his narrating every other scene here threw me off every time. A touching moment would happen with one of the couples, and then while you’re feeling all warm & fuzzy from that, all of a sudden Kevin Hart’s loud, piercing, voice jumps in to comment, as turnt & excitable as he is in character while running around gambling. It was funny at first…but when it’s all said & done, it’s just out of place. It’s kind of like…
    https://screen.yahoo.com/kevin-hart-snl-skits/recording-session-000000664.html
  2. Premise – It is something you’ve seen before – which means it only gets a pass if the film brings something new to the table. It…sort of does. What this film brings new plot-wise is the characters themselves and how they get to their shenanigans. But really, the best things about their situations really have nothing to do with what happens – this is just the plot device to bring each couple’s issue focused on, and what strengthens the film. Each couple dealing with their issue and learning to love each other was the strength of the first film, and that is still true here. Sadly, it is a little downplayed to give the shenanigans more room (which are still usually funny!…just not as well balanced).
    Think-Like-A-Man-Too-8
  3. Michael’s Frat Brothers – They’re just weird and pointless. They add nothing to what’s going on other than a few side-eye moments. Really could have done without their Abercrombie & Fitch-looking selves.
  4. Focus on Cedric – Okay, let me say this as delicately as possible, because I’m still not sure I even agree with myself. Kevin Hart being in this movie works just fine. Again, I think he’s hilarious and I’m a big fan. HOWEVER. I can’t help but think that in terms of balance, he might have gotten a little too much attention. Not in a terrible way or anything…it just felt like the focus shifted to the comedic relief with him just because it’s Kevin Hart and he’s funny, vs. here’s a handful of funny lines, but now back to the plot. Granted I still laugh when he’s around, but there were a couple points when I was like “hmmm…I wonder if Zeke will get Mya to stop being mad at him. I wonder how this whole wedding thing will work out. I wonder if Michael’s mama will get some AllState booty. Anyway, it’s like the writers set him up to not only make Cedric appear to be begging for attention…but for Kevin Hart to be begging for the audience’s attention. He was clearly their selling point. Bad thing? No, he’s still fun…but it is a lot, I’ll admit.
    TLAM-5

CONCLUSION
I had a great time with this movie! I laughed, I enjoyed the characters and their journeys, and the movie did go at a decent pace to keep me interested in their efforts at all times. However, it does suffer from general imbalance at times. It’s not a movie that needed to be made…but as a summer ‘let’s have some fun but keep the heart from the original movie intact’ kind of flick, it does all right. I’d still say go give it a watch just for some good laughs – but if you’re looking to laugh while learning helpful/relevant things about relationships, check out the original to get even stronger substance.

BLACKOMETER: 7/10
Let me know what you think!
-BB2

Follow Bro. BIB!

Hey all,

My brother Benjamin, a gifted writer, thespian and actor, recently started a WordPress site as well! He’s also writing about movies (top 10 lists, comparisons, discussions, etc.) as well as his thoughts on life and such. He’s also written tons and tons of scripts for plays & movies – you just might see one of those some time! Those of you who enjoy reading such things, I guarantee Bro. BIB will not disappoint. He’s the real writer in the family, frankly – so if you like my stuff, you’ll really enjoy his thoughts. Follow him, read his posts, and say hey!

http://brotherbib.wordpress.com/

-BB2

Music Monday: Weird Al Yankovic

Hello all, and welcome to this week’s segment of #MusicMonday! In this segment, I’ll talk about great music and artists, and ask you for some of your personal favorites as well! Today we’re talking about the art of parody in music with the master of this craft: Weird Al Yankovic!

Alfred Matthew Yankovic, a.k.a. “Weird Al”, is a singer/songwriter known for his comical parodies of modern music. Among his start were many Michael Jackson hits, turning Bad into Fat, and Beat It into Eat It. The formula is typically pretty similar: Weird Al would take the song’s lyrics and play around with the words into a new, crazy premise, and also perhaps poke fun at the musicality/sounds used by utilizing his accordion & other unique instruments (that had nothing to do with the original song). He’s recorded over 150 parody and original songs, and at one point, he even had his own TV show (The Weird Al Show) to showcase his work.
I personally enjoy Weird Al’s stuff because it reminds me of two things. First of all, it reminds me of a good group of friends of mine who got me more into his parodies than I was originally. We even traveled to a concert of his once a few years back and I just loved it. This guy is a true performer, very charismatic, a ton of fun, and very engaging. Secondly, I like Weird Al because through all the laughs, this guy really works hard on his craft! The music, as insane as it is, is always very musically legitimate. He’s genuinely talented, he gets the best musicians possible, he crafts his lyrics and choreography carefully to perfection, and you can tell a lot of thought goes into making the music legit enough to match the insanity at the forefront. It’s not just funny – it’s well done. This combination makes his performances more than memorable, and this is the mark of any great performer, when their work is not kept at a one-note kind of level. It can be both carefully crafted and hilarious as heck. I hope to see Mr. Yankovic’s work continue! (Has he done #TurnDownForWhat yet?)

So that’s this week’s #MusicMonday! I hope you enjoy Weird Al’s work as much (or more) than I do! If not, I hope you can at least recognize and respect the work and musical backing that is used in his music and perhaps even other musical parody stylings. What’s your favorite Weird Al parody? Drop some comments and let me know! Let’s share in some laughs together.

White n’ Nerdy,
-BB2

Why Did I Get Married? – More Questions or More Answers?

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Why Did I Get Married? (2007)

SUMMARY
A group of 4 married couples who have been friends for years gather to meet a their annual couples retreat in a cabin on top of the mountains. Each couple is successful with their careers, but they all have their own set of issues in their marriage. Terry longs for more time with his wife and more children, but Dianne buries herself in work and stays somewhat distant. Marcus is an ex-pro-football player now working for his over-the-top wife Angela, who holds this over his head every chance she gets, while he struggles to deal with baby-mama-drama from the past. Patricia is a best-selling author, and she & her husband Gavin are often looked up to by their friends for counseling and advice…but do they seem to have their own undealt with struggles as well? Finally, we have poor Sheila, who has gained weight, and feels as though losing it is the only way to win back the affections of her husband, Mike, who treats her lower than a dog despite her deep love for him. He even sends her to drive to the mountains alone, across the country, when she is too large for a single airplane seat, and insteads flies up there with her best friend, Some Trick Who Ain’t Loyal. Everyone’s secrets come out at once during dinner one night, and each couple must work to realize what they had, how much it is worth fighting for, how much compromise is necessary, and how to love each other as well as themselves.

WHAT WORKS

  1. Marcus & Angela – They are my FAVORITE characters. Marcus and Angela are just HILARIOUS. They are both in the wrong at certain points, yes, but throughout the film, they find their love in their own brand of exchanges…which means they fuss at each other and make up at night. The funniest lines in the film really do come from them (see below!) but they are also great characters with larger-than-life personalities who have to learn things about each other, their marriage, and how to treat each other. But mostly…they’re so dang funny.
    wdigm angela
  2. Careers – In the mid-2000s, we saw way too many films of African-Americans doing lackluster things & putting out lousy products in the movies. No names though (coughfatalbertlovedontcostathingjohnsonfamilyvacation). I’m very happy that we’re able to see some successful black folk not only leading in a good film, but portraying roles of success in their careers. Patricia is a bestselling author, Diane is a partner at her law firm, Terry is a pediatrician, Angela owns a legitimate (and nice!) hair salon.
    D.C. Ballroom
  3. Dramedy – I’m impressed by the movie’s good balance between the story’s drama and the comedy, especially in the first 45 minutes. It’s usually a big toss-up with these TP productions (especially in the plays…) and if we have the wrong characters, sometimes comedy comes at potentially inappropriate moments (I’m looking at you, Uncle Joe). However, the chemistry between all these friends when they’re together is one of the most genuine you’ll find in not just a good movie, but in a close-knit group of friends. (More on that below.)

    This moment = what every man AND every woman can be proud of/hope for.

    This moment = what every man AND every woman can be proud of/hope for.

  4. Dinner Table Scene – Okay. I might sound wrong for this because of how intense, well-acted, well-written and saddening this scene is. BUT. You know what a good game to play during this scene is when secrets start being exchanged? My new favorite game: COUNT THE SHADE! (Side eyes count.) How does it work? Every time someone gets called out for their wrongdoings by Mike, Angela, Terry or Diane (this couple starts it), count how much shade gets thrown around the table. Careful, though…you may find them in the shadows.
    wdigm dinner
  5. Janet Jackson – I always knew Janet Jackson was fantastic, but MAN. It wasn’t until I watched her acting in this movie that I realized just how good she is at what she does. Everything is more than just on point – it’s stellar. She pours her heart and soul into portraying Patricia, and even considering she hadn’t done acting in a while, you get so immersed into her character like you might know her. Honestly, I like nearly everyone’s acting in this movie! (This is also TP’s first movie acting in a “dramatic” role.) But you gotta give it to Janet – easily the highlight in terms of character portrayal.
    wdigm janet
  6. Chemistry – The chemistry amongst the main cast in this movie is one of the best things about it, hands down! Everyone genuinely thrives off of each other’s company, displaying a very believable friendship that feels like the actors became friends offset as well. Matched with the writing, this really makes the film that much stronger because it transcends the characters to become that much more relatable.
  7. Writing – I definitely think this play is among TP’s BEST writing. That’s a huge subjective argument, but honestly, this movie is so well put together with the characters, their stories, their development & journeys, the advice the movies brings to the table. It’s not a movie to give you answers for the perfect relationship or marriage. It’s a movie that acknowledges the problems married people encounter, and how find ways to healthily deal with it. As long as you can remember why you devoted your life to the other person and love is at the forefront of all the good days & struggles, it is possible to make it through. Just communicate, accommodate, understand, and love. And then some.

WHAT DOESN’T WORK

  1. Dianne – I can never stand this character in either movie. Sometimes it feels like I’m supposed to sympathize with Terry more because he just wants to spend time with his wife and have more children. Or am I supposed to feel bad for Dianne because she’s using her job as a distraction away from him? Ultimately, they are both in the wrong with the issues within their marriage and weren’t communicating properly. However, she was dealing with it way worse than Terry and did nothing but make him feel worse and worse. Also, as the movie goes on, she starts looking like a teenager to me because she acts like one once in a while. Always on her phone, putting her earbuds in when Terry tries to talk to her, resulting in him chucking the phone at the wall. Trick.
  2. When Sheila first gets attracted to Troy, just saying, all those closeups of Troy are waaaay too close, and they are shot TERRIBLY. I would let this go…but first of all, it’s sort of important because she’s starting to get over Mike and get interested in the right guy. Secondly, most everything else is so good in the movie, that I can’t help but wonder who let this go so weird in the editing room. Thirdly, audience gender notwithstanding, it just looks bad! It’s too close for any kind of attraction for whoever it’s trying to please – it’s like if instead of showing you the palm of my hand to see the scar on it, I shove it all up in your face so you can barely make out the color. Fourth, the music just makes it too corny. Like really? Finally: …ewwwwwww. Just ew.
  3. Sheila & Troy’s First Kiss – It’s soooo awkward! Hahaha. They’re sitting across a table, and he starts leaning in not just hesitantly, but really wondering if she’ll meet him halfway because the table really is in their way. Sure, it’s fine for her to not just jump into it quickly, but he’s so hesitant & tentative in his choppy body motions that it looks way more awkward than it was supposed to be. The “can we pray?” afterwards is a comedically unexpected following, though. That look on Troy’s face when she asks that, in my opinion, wasn’t acting – he was really confused as to who asks for prayer after a first kiss, but it’s not like he can say no, right? Lol, moving on.

Top Angela & Marcus Quotes

  1. Angela: Y’all ain’t never seen black people on a plane before? You never heard of the Underground Railroad?!
  2. Marcus: We doing good, know what I’m sayin?
  3. Angela: (Marcus gets Trina’s bag to take in the cabin; Angela smacks it back down) She can get it!
  4. Angela: I’ll drink to that! Marcus: You drink to nouns.
  5. Trina: You belong in the kitchen. Angela: And you belong on a pole. Need a pimp?

CONCLUSION
I think this is a strong film that everyone should see during their 30s & 40s especially. I’m not there yet, but from what I gather, this serves as a good reminder to many important things to keep in mind during very integral and challenging moments in a marriage. Younger crowds who want strong relationships should also see it, as it serves as something to help you consider the priorities you want to expect and give in a good relationship. As a film, I really think it’s a good one. The acting is great, the writing is just wonderful, the characters are (mostly) fantastic, and the movie creates an environment that one can relate to and enjoy. When they hurt, you hurt. When they’re happy and have resolved their issues, you’re right there with them! In my opinion, a great example of an underrated movie that deserves high praise for what it brings to the table. If you haven’t seen it, I definitely say give it a watch.

BLACKOMETER: 8/10
Let me know what you think…and how much shade you counted at the dinner table! (There is a correct answer.)
-BB2

View the review of the sequel here!!! And ***Thanks to Morgan Matthews for the request! Y’all let me know if you have a movie you’d like me to talk about! 🙂
hdigm Kermit