So I usually don't plug movies on here. I 'm not a spokesmodel and I don't get paid for it, so what's the point? I have to love something before I'll tell others they have to have, see or listen to it. But I just got an email with the trailer for Be Kind, Rewind this new flick with Jack Black and Mos Def. Quick summary: 2guys own a video store. The videos get erased and so they recreate the bootleg to sell versions of movies like Ghostbusters and Driving Miss Daisy. The idea seemed fun and fresh and amusing, but I didn't exactly have the urge to run to the theatre. I'd definitely Netfliks it though.
I read further in the message and see that there's a party for the movie this week and there will be an opportunity for guests to make their own scenes from their favorite films. I pause. I think. LOVE JONES!!
Immediately I forward the invite to all my friends telling them that they have to go to this party so we can recreate our favorite scenes. I cast myself as Nina (“Falling in love… that shit is played out like an eight track”), and then assign the other roles based on the personalities that match the characters.
John as Darius: “This here, right now, at this very moment is all that matters to me. I love you. That’s urgent like a motherfucker.”
Gary as Wood: “I believe in that shit like flowers, candy. Just not every day.”
Patent as Savon: "Falling in love ain’t shit. Somebody please tell me how to stay there.. Do I love my wife? Hell yes. Is she here? Hell no.”
Aria as Josie: (She declines based on her hair and says she'll be Sheila): “Oh, nigga, I got your progressive.”
Carmen and Penelope will have to duke it out for Josie (both have big hair.) Carmen decides she'll get a blow dryer and play Troy (''Don’t wait by the phone, Negro!”) Leaving Penelope to ask, “Played out like an eight track? You did say that didn’t you?”
In a flurry of e-mails we start quoting our favorite lines, regardless of character:
Darius: “Romance is about the possibility of the thang. You see, it’s about the time between when you first meet some fine ass woman and when you first make love to her. And when you first ask a woman to marry you and when she says ‘I do.’ When people who have been together a long time say that the romance is gone.. Mmm-mmm, what they really saying is they’ve exhausted the possibilities."
Savon: “You asking me if I married my soulmate? It depends on what day you ask.”
Ed: “Romance is dead they said while cheating at pool. But the very last frame of this nine ball game, the cat who had the date on the top of the Empire State is the one who got hustled like a fool.”
Nina: Ah, persistence. Darius: You’d be surprised about how far it can get you.
Wood: “I can’t help it if I’m the Chosen One.”
Nina: It was like his dick just… talked to me. Josie: What’d it say? Nina: Ni-na! Josie: Damnnnn. Day-ummmmmn
Marvin: “I’m going out for some motherfucking Toasted Oats. You’re trippin.”
Darius: “You and I both know you don’t want to be out here this late stomping up and down like somebody done stole your fucking bike.”
Darius: “Saving something for later? Baby you ain’t got to save mine for later. I’d rather have it right now anyway.”
In a rare emotional admission, John aka No Heart confesses that this movie had a profound effect on his life: “Ya'll don't understand. This movie came out and was the source of 99.9% of my inspiration when I was in hollering at my first wifey.”
I think we all kinda felt that way when we saw it. How often --before or since-- have you gotten a cast of Black characters in a contemporary drama that acted, thought, and looked like you and your crew (or at least how we hoped to be in 10 years. I was 17 or 18 when it came out)? One that so aptly portrayed two people who were so feeling each other but let themselves and their egos get in the way (isn’t that most people’s biggest problem? And why is sooo hard to get out of your own way?)
The movie has its flaws (why did a high-paid Negro offer her a train ride to New York? That ish is 8 hours and the same price as flying); Nina gives a new address at the record store, but she’s house sitting. Her apt (and Darius’) change without notice or explanation midway through the movie. And did anyone get her poem at the end? (50 viewings and counting. I’m still baffled.)
Despite any of that, on my first and only trip to Chicago for business, I extended my stay by two days, mostly so I could run around the city and visit all the landmarks in the movie. I was positively giddy in Grant Park walking to Buckingham Fountain. And I also started drinking white wine because Nina looked so sophisticated holding her glass in the “set scene.” It’s also the reason I learned how to step (DC style, not Chicago) and wear “bloomers.” (Go watch the movie if you don’t get that last one.)
Hands down, it’s one of the greatest films of all time, and it happens to be Black. It gets even better when I start picturing my friends acting it out.
I can’t wait for this party!!