Love Jones

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -3

Darrius (Larenz Tate) and Nina (Nia Long) meet at "The Sanctuary," a Chicago club popular with upscale 20-something blacks. Nina is new to the neighborhood and wanders into the club following her recent breakup with a longtime lover. The love bug bites Darrius that night, but Nina is terribly offended by his not-so-subtle overtures. However, his persistence, aided by some coaching from his bar buddies, eventually wins her heart. Nina's ex-fiancee re-enters her life, however, opening up a chance for her to pursue her photography career in New York. Since Darrius is an out-of-work writer, there's little he can do to keep Nina in Chicago. He hibernates in his apartment with writer's block, pining away for what might have been. Their separation gives them both a chance to get their priorities straight. Love Jones might be compared to the popular TV sitcom Friends, appealing mostly to young adults. It's refreshing to see middle-class, intelligent single blacks seeking love instead of drugs, gang activities and violence.

While the subject of Love Jones is appealing, its uncalled for obscenities and casual treatment of sex are not. Darrius crudely displays his lust for Nina the first time he sees her in The Sanctuary by reciting an erotic poem over the mike while staring at her. At the end of their first date, Nina invites him in and they wind up in a passionate bedroom scene. As Darrius and his friends hold philosophical discussions about life, opinions on sex usually dominate. They touch on religion briefly, with one saying he knows Jesus and another declaring that God is a woman, but these remarks are more humorous than spiritual. We've been inundated with obscenities in enough R-rated films to know what's typical "reel" life, but we also know Hollywood is often out of touch with "real" life. The film's 17 f-words and 25 s-words, plus its nonchalant attitude towards sex will do nothing to boost the public's image of the young black adult community.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
New Line Cinema, 575 8th Ave., 16th Floor, New York, NY 10018

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (20) times - Mild 12, Moderate 8

Obscene Language: Many (48) times - f-word 17, s-word 25, other 6)

Profanity: Once - Regular (GD)

Violence: None

Sex: Once (unmarried couple in bedroom scene, no nudity)

Nudity: None, but near nudity few times (revealing T-shirts, low-cut dresses)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (references to sex and genitals, erotic poem read, man unzips woman's blouse, passionate kissing)

Drugs: Few times (alcohol drinking, smoking)

Other: Brief reference to belief that God is a woman

Running Time: 110 minutes
Intended Audience: Young adults

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