LOVE ON FILM: Top 10 Black Romantic Movies Of The 90’s and Early 00’sPublished by on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 10:00 am.
There is nothing better than a great love story.
Movies allow us to step away from the reality of whatever our present situations are and lose ourselves for a few hours in the love and lives of some of our favorite characters. We all have that one movie that makes our heart skip a beat every single time we see it.
Throughout the 90’s and early 00’s, a string of Black romantic comedies and dramas were released that told tales of love lost, lessons learned and the beauty of friendship.
In the age of Netflix and movies on demand, there’s no excuse not to indulge yourselves in some good ol’ fashion Black romance—that is of course if you can take a break from all of the vampire/warlock themed action that seems to dominate the box office. Needs some options? No worries, here’s our list of the Top 10 Black Romantic Movies of the 90’s and 00’s:
1. Boomerang (1992)
This romantic comedy is hands down one of the funniest films of the 90’s. Complete with an all-star cast—Eddie Murphy, Robin Givens, Grace Jones, Eartha Kitt, David Alan Grier and Martin Lawrence—this movie about karma coming back to a player is definitely worth standing in any film collection.
2. Love & Basketball (2000)
Who knew basketball and love could make for such a great love story? Gina Prince-Bythewood—director of the film—knew. Starring Sanaa Lathan and Omar Epps, this story of two neighborhood friends turned lovers is definitely a slam dunk.
3. The Best Man (1999)
Directed by Spike Lee’s cousin, Malcolm Lee, this film is undoubtedly a black cinema classic. Starring Taye Diggs, Terrance Howard, Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, and Monica Calhoun; this film is filled with love, friendship, fighting and the revelation of secrets—elements that make for a great story.
4. Love Jones (1997)
Probably one of THE most underrated movies, Love Jones, starring Larenz Tate and Nia Long perfectly intertwines the jazz and poetry that are so indicative of the late 90’s period that birthed neo-soul. The film’s soundtrack is also cause for celebration (does “Sweetest Thing” by Lauryn Hill ring a bell?)
5. Waiting to Exhale (1995)
Yes there is an abundance of drama and female sulking (yes we said it), but this film is the perfect story of finding strength self love and awareness. Whitney Houston, Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine—you can’t get any better than that. And lest we forget the all-female Babyface produced soundtrack (insert: faint).
6. Disappearing Acts (2000)
This 2000, film adaptation of Terry McMillan’s New York Times best-selling novel, Disappearing Acts, starring Wesley Snipes and Sanaa Lathan went under the radar—quite possibly because it was an HBO movie. This movie tells the story of how financial and social challenges can test love.
7. Brown Sugar (2002)
Music and love go hand and hand. And when you make that music hip-hop, you have a modern day urban story of romance and the bond of friendship. Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs, who play friends turned lovers, are the perfect on-screen pair, and their chemistry is dynamic.
8. Two Can Play that Game (2001)
Marked as Vivica A. Fox’s first leading role, this romantic comedy told the story of how playing games can leave you sad and lonely. Directed by Mark Brown, the film co-starred Morris Chestnut, Wendy Raquel-Robinson, Gabrielle Union, Anthony Anderson, and a pre-Oscar win, Mo’Nique.
9. A Thin Line Betweeen Love and Hate (1996)
Who would have thought fatal attraction could be so funny? Leave it to Martin Lawrence to do just that. The comedian plays Marcus, a serial bachelor, who attracts the wrong woman (Lynn Whitfield). Things start out great, but soon become very strange and all too real.
10. Jason’s Lyric (1994)
Quite possibly the hood’s answer to William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, this film starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, Forest Whitaker, Allen Payne and Bokeem Woodbine; was filled with passion, pain and death. Simply put, this is a cult-classic.
Think we missed the mark on our list? Did we leave one of your favorites off?
—SueZette Yasmin Robotham/Justin Joseph