Movie Reviews/General Thoughts
I’m going to try to keep this brief. I want to review two movies that I have watched the past two nights and then tie in some things that I have encountered both in the recent past and throughout my 20s (as I recount).
Last night, I was hanging with a good friend and we went to see “Obsessed” (along with “Earth”, for my class — but that is immaterial in this post). I had seen the trailer and previews, so I pretty much knew the basic premise of the movie before going in. I do not have a high opinion of Beyoncé on the big screen, but I went in with an open mind, rather than having it made up to rip her as some of the reviewers did. However, I did find myself saying “expected” and turning to my friend as I had flashbacks to being stalked back in the day.
I won’t spoil the movie, so I won’t delve into the plot and specifics. Nevertheless, two things really bugged me all throughout this movie (and the other one that I will briefly touch upon): the idea that 1) White women are stone crazy about Black men and will go to any lengths to land one and 2) These movies don’t do anything to erase the stereotype that Black women have bad attitudes — which are many times, uncalled for.
Side note: Beyoncé actually did a pretty good job in this role.
Ali Larter, who played the stalker/psycho in the movie also had a hand in perpetuating a common stereotype of White women that is floating around nowadays: “they are only after Black men for sexual escapades and nothing more”. Whatever. Just like all Black women don’t have nasty attitudes. Generalizations just do not work. I sat with my friend (Black female) and immediately next to two 20-something White females who squirmed and winced when touchy scenes passed by. Of course, this particular theatre was packed with hoodrats who were just there to see “B.” whoop someone’s ass and that’s it. Even when Beyoncé’s character was out of line for not believing her husband (played by Idris Elba), I said “expected”, but at the same time, I would have loved to have seen her keep her composure instead of reacting “typically”.
By the way, for anyone who has already seen the movie, does anyone find it ODD that Beyoncé refers to their home as HER house when I ain’t seen her work a minute in this movie. DEAR GOD.
The same with “Not Easily Broken”. The movie started kind of slow, and it was very good throughout. But after one of the kids’ passes away, his mother, played by a single White mother, began putting the subtle moves on the Black woman’s father. The expected ensued. But this is when I began to think to myself: WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE…? Where did this disconnect REALLY TRULY stem from?
I get tired of hearing Black women talk about “well, we’re so accustomed to so and so and how they approach/treat us” as an excuse for acting the way they generally do. For those to whom this does not apply, you know not to get upset. If you get upset by what I say, then it applies to you.
Why, if “women’s intuition” is so REAL, can’t women truly tell a sincere man apart from one who is “just like all the others”? It’s all BS. They know the difference. And given that fact, why am I being made to pay for the mistakes of others? Do I pop off and treat every woman I meet as a “bitch” because most of the women I’ve dealt with or entered into relationships with were slimy, reptilian, bloodsucking, selfish golddiggers who only cared about what they could get from me? No. Everyone gets a clean slate. And enough of the “well, we’re so accustomed to our fathers, brothers, uncles not being there, so we have to be the men in the family”. Okay, true, the Black community has its ills. That is one that is well-chronicled. HOWEVER, know when to put that BS on the back burner. When you are dealing with a man to whom that does not apply, cease and desist with the balderdash excuses to act like an ass. PERIOD. End of discussion. I’m sick of it.
But back to my main point about “Not Easily Broken”, there are two trends playing out in the 2000s that are severely disturbing to me. First, the whole “Miss Independent”/”Got My Own” phenomena. Rubbish. Women who talk like that get defriended off my friends’ list on Facebook and summarily dismissed. NO ONE IS AN ISLAND; and trying to prove one’s worth to spite an entire gender is just foolish. Just because you’ve CHOSEN (key word) to deal with a bunch of sloughs doesn’t mean you need to parade around and tell the world how much you don’t need a man. He doesn’t NEED you either, but he WANTS you (and I don’t mean the slouch ass niggas, either). God created us to relate with one another and feed, serve, help and support one another physically and spiritually, not to flaunt our material rubbish around as a show of one’s own efficiencies. How UNattractive is it to hear a woman banter about this, even if she does have her own things and doesn’t need a man to provide them for her? What do you want me to do, provide a drummer’s rim shot for you? Goodness gracious sakes alive, enough with this nonsense already.
My other thought about this point is the by-product of all this: the “me-first” (second, third and twentieth) mentality about marriage, children and so forth. Not all women are cut out to be housewives. Indeed, housewives have TOUGH lives; but it is not demeaning (no matter what brainless feminist zealots have led many to believe) or beneath one to do so. On the contrary, God made nurturing both children and the family unit as a whole such a noble thing that ONLY a woman is equipped to properly do so. Think about that. How is it that something God deems the highest of NOBILITY all of a sudden regarded as beneath or less-than? And please save the “you don’t understand patriarchal society and the history of male oppression”. Bullshit. I’m a Sociologist. Don’t go there.
My thing is, in this movie, this woman was all about her career, trying to be something she’s not, living above her means and trying to make people think things about her that were more lofty than they actually were. Who wants to be with someone like that? If you say yes, defriend me. NOW.
She didn’t want to have a child because it would “get in the way of her career”. WHAT.
Meanwhile, because her husband decided to… get this… GIVE BACK TO THE YOUTH BY COACHING, he’s a less-than and also-ran who is worthless to her. Here we go. A social-climber, me-first, all about her career and status type who will run off a PERFECTLY good man (with a nasty attitude to boot) because he’s not trying to keep up with the mythical Joneses.
One thing that I did like about her character (played by Taraji P. Henson) is that she redeems herself by doing something MANY women do not do (and drive me nuts by doing so; including some from my own personal past) and that’s ADMITTING that she was wrong. That was like the icing on the cake, the cherry on top and putting the jello in the fridge (as Chick Hearn used to say) for me. A guy can be 100% sincere and honest, but if he’s with a woman who never admits when she’s wrong, 9 times out of 10 he’s going to cheat or she’s going to leave him for Joe Social Climber the 3rd. My problem with this generation of women (to whom this applies, not the ones who have it figured out and know whether they’re supposed to be in the corporate arena because they’ve been called to do it and not those who do it just to compete with men and try to one up their OWN boyfriends/husbands — that shit is BEYOND annoying) is that everything is about job prestige, money/wealth, status and material possessions. I grew up hearing women that “it doesn’t matter how much money he makes or where he works, just as LONG as he has a job”. Bullshit. I know these movies are just scripts and not actual life, but I’ve seen too many people around me live out what is in these movies and I REFUSE to be treated like a lie-about in the face of someone who doesn’t appreciate me for my virtue and consistency as a good man. Sure, I’m going to be a billionaire eventually, but what about right now and how I’ve been received by women now versus when I was making very good money both from the job and from side business hustles, driving the 350Z, wearing the nicest clothes, shopping, traveling, fine dining — and when all that ran out when I returned to school; to have some do a 180 on a DIME solely because the money wasn’t flowing anymore. That goes to show the “it doesn’t matter how much he has, just as long as he is a good, honest, hard-working man” line is utter hogwash.