In light of the rumors circulating that Tyler Perry will remake the classic, Love Jones, this post is a must. Last week, Very Smart Brothas (VSB) posted A Sneak Peak into Tyler Perry’s Love Jones. As of last night, the blog authors were still retweeting followers’ reactions to the rumor. They were flabbergasted, hurt, outraged and any other emotion that stems from disgust. I usually come to Perry’s defense when everyone calls his work coonery and bufoonery or a blow to heterosexual Black men everywhere. I think there’s both some good and bad in his films, and they’re definitely a reflection of his own upbringing and personal struggles more than anyone else’s. HowEVER, I draw the line when it comes to Love Jones. A bold, red line that can’t be crossed. I dare you to cross it.
Love Jones set the standard for African-American romantic comedies which would thrive in the late 90s into the mid-2000s. Instead of violence and gang-banging, you saw a group of young adults, taking the alternative route for fun, hanging out at house parties and poetry clubs. It showed a side of our culture that was familiar to some, but unfamiliar to most due to lack of exposure in the arts and media. It was about the realest film I’d seen regarding relationships, and I was only 16 when it was released. There they were, two educated black folks, playing the game, “just kickin’ it,” a scenario that’s all too familiar to many, only to find their way back to each other after hating friends, pride and distance kept them apart.
It was my generation’s true love story. It is perfect. From the dance scene at the Wild Hare to the love scene and kiss in the rain, it was everything to us. Love Jones cannot be touched by anyone but the original writers and producers, and even then, I’d be afraid it’d have The Game Curse.
Don’t croak at your laptop. The rumor is just that–a rumor (click here for VSB’s Twitter response). Regular readers of VSB know that they often deal in satire and comedy, which is why we love them. What if this idea that we uppity Neo-Blacks fear so much was even half-true? I’m wondering if the outrage was sparked by such an iconic film being remade or by who would be dabbling with it. There are some movies should never be remade…by anyone. Spike Lee or Antoine Fuqua could have put their hands on it, I’d still wait (maybe) until the bootlegged version was released. Here are some of my picks for films in African-American cinema that should never be remade:
Coming to America
No one can do Akeem or Mr. McDowell justice. Don’t even try it.
Love & Basketball
I don’t think any couple could match Sanaa’ Lathan and Omar Epps’ chemistry. They were actually together off-screen at that time.
I’m Gonna Git U Sucka
Classic. There’s no way they find that many people to do that much foolishness in one movie again.
There is NO movie without Grace Jones as Strange’ or the late Eartha Kitt as Lady Eloise. ‘Mahhh-cuzzz, dahling!”
Boyz in the Hood
Yeah, a remake at this point would be a complete fail. Seeing black men shot in cold blood is not a winner, but I would definitely audition for Regina King’s role as Iesha in Poetic Justice.