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(Warner Bros.)

If friend ask any type of Black person between the periods of 25 and also 50 among their favorite black love stories depicted in movie is, “Love & Basketball” will absolutely be in ~ the top of several of their lists. The film to be released spring 2000, and also though it no garner box office success, the has come to be a cult standard in the black color community. Any kind of day the the week friend can catch it ~ above networks servicing an urban viewing. I uncover it hard to share it together love story, however. Sure, it’s around two world navigating a relationship while pursuing your dreams and dealing through the realities of life, however knowing what I recognize now, i’m not sure it’s around true love. As soon as I an initial watched this film, ns was 13 year old. Now I probably shouldn’t have been watching the at the age, but I did. And like anyone else, I dropped in love with it, largely, because it came off the heels the “Love Jones” (1997), “The Wood” (1999) and also “The finest Man” (1999). Before those releases, we were mostly slaves, gang members, musician or “the black friend” top top film. So to check out an all-Black actors that wasn’t impoverished or riddled through violence was amazing; i felt proud.  

Back come “Love & Basketball,” though. Just put, Quincy is a narcissist. The is misogynistic, selfish, jealous and also cruel. I recognize you may be rolling her eyes due to the fact that I’m criticizing a film that belongs to us and also a character we all love, but I was standing firm in mine assertion. As youngsters during their first meeting, Monica outperforms Quincy in a game of basketball, and also in a right of anger, he knocks her down causing her to reduced her face, which ends up gift a irreversible scar. He apologizes and they agree to become boyfriend and also girlfriend, yet it ends quickly when he desires her come ride on the earlier of his bike and she desires to journey her very own bike. As teenagers, he flaunts his popular with various other girls to her; then at their college dance, he becomes jealous as soon as he watch her every dolled up and on a day with a handsome college student. Nothing around Monica had changed at that dance. She was the very same girl from following door but suddenly, since she looked differently, and also others to be attracted to her, the decides he want her and leaves with her virginity. Clearly, she offers herself to him, but she had loved him because they to be children. Only when she came to be desirable to rather did she come to be desirable to him.  

While in college, Quincy is angered that Monica won’t violate her curfew to it is in there for him when he finds the end his parents space headed because that a divorce. Notification I didn’t say as soon as he uncovered out his dad cheated ~ above his mommy (Quincy already knew that). Together a basketball player, Quincy knew if Monica continued to be with him that night come nurse his feelings, she wouldn’t have the ability to play in her basketball game the next day, but he didn’t care. Come placate his feelings and not hurt curfew, Monica request Quincy come accompany her to the dorm therefore she can be there for him and not threat her future. That wasn’t an excellent enough, though; he want her to drop every little thing for the in that moment. The following day after ~ the game, she asks if they have the right to revisit the conversation. In a sarcastic manner, Q tells she he doesn’t desire to talk about his parents due to the fact that he has actually curfew. Climate he humiliated her by asking her if she wanted to accompany him while he took another woman ~ above a date. Ultimately, the apologized for cheating on she but broke up v her because he thought she didn’t have time to help him v his family members issues.  

Several year later, Monica returns residence from play basketball overseas and finds Quincy involved to it is in married. In one last attempt to shoot her shot, she asks Quincy come play her for his heart. Execute you understand exactly how humiliating it needs to feel come wager the love you have for a person versus the point you love most? at first, Quincy is not interested in the battle for his heart, but he obliges and also performs strongly showing Monica his disinterest in she obtaining his love. After ~ charging her pretty hard and making the winning shot that says, “All is fair in love and also basketball.” the statement claims to me that knew he had actually not been fair to her in the relationship and also in the game, but her feelings no matter.  

Monica walks off defeated and also Quincy says, “Double or nothing,” denote he desires to save playing the game for love. Castle kiss and makeup. Nothing had actually changed: He want what the wanted, when he want it. They shouldn’t have had actually to beat a game for his heart, if he loved her. And if castle did, why let she hang she head in defeat, if he was going to choose her?  

I recognize I’ve win Quincy up pretty badly, however Monica was flawed too. She was highly vital of how her mother bowed to her father’s every need while she did the same for Quincy. Time and time again, she enabled him to decision if and also when he would certainly love her.  

So the question is “Does a film qualify together a love story, if the personalities are severely flawed?“ Yes and no.

The biggest lesson i learned in 2020 to be anything deserve to be two things; it’s every in just how you look in ~ it. We can love the film and also characters and also still acknowledge misogyny and also emotional abuse. We have actually to difficulty what us love.  

Recently, city hall “Sylvie’s Love” (2020) was the first time I ever watched a film wherein the black color male personality didn’t appear to have actually one negative characteristic. For days i grappled through why the film had such an result on me, and also it bothered me as soon as I realized ns was enamored v it since it to be a relenten of a healthy love. It made me establish the difficulty is how we see ourselves and also our experiences.


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By no method am ns saying the depictions of black color love should all be fairy tales, yet they shouldn’t every be fear stories either.  So probably “Love & Basketball” is a black love story, but we need an ext “Sylvie’s Love”s come ensure we obtain a much more balanced view. Depiction is great, yet at what cost?