A Videotape Analysis Paper
December 3, 1997
New Line Cinema’s romantic comedy love jones by Theodore Witcher examines the battle of the sexes by asking (1) whether the third time is, indeed, a charm and (2) can your soulmate of the opposite sex be found, and if so, can the faith, and love between you move mountains?
Struggling photographer Nina Mosley (Nia Long) and struggling writer Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) have a lot in common, but they aren’t exactly prime candidates for a serious affair. The consummate ladies man, Darius’ silky smooth presentation promises more sell than substance. And Nina’s recently jilted heart isn’t looking for anymore of love’s kind of trouble.
love jones begins with Nina and her good girlfriend Josie Nichols (Lisa Nicole Carson) packing up what’s left of Nina’s disappointing relationship. Fearful that the scars left from this failed romance may be too deep for her to heal, Josie takes her to a night-time poetry-slam at the Sanctuary, where she encounters Darius for the first time. The Sanctuary is the local haven where poetry is the prime draw, and a favorite night spot for Darius and his friends Savon Garrison (Isaiah Washington), Eddie Coles (Leonard Roberts), Sheila Downes (Bernadette Clark, and Hollywood (Bill Bellamy). “The romance dies between couples,” we overhear Darius telling his friends from his intellectual set, “because they’ve (people) given up on the possibility of it.”
In an awkward introduction at the bar, Nina catches Darius off-guard and, uncharacteristically, he fumbles and spills his drink on her. He recovers minutes later when called to the stage to recite one of his poems. He makes the most of the moment by calling his sensuous creation “A Blues for Nina.”
Flattered but embarrassed, she informs him in front of his friends that there are topics for poetry other than sex. When he asks her to name one, she writes the word “love” on his hand. Everyone is impressed; particularly Darius.
Darius runs into Nina at a record store managed by his friend, Sheila. She is there because she has just been fired from her job as a photographer’s assistant and desperately needs to hear the Isley Brothers. When Darius approaches her, she acts as thought she vaguely remembers his name. Darius seizes the opportunity though, by playing her a tender rendition of “Parker’s Mood.” While Nina remains unreceptive at that point, she finally buckles and agrees to a date when Darius appears, unannounced at her door presenting the very CD she had been looking for at the record store. He bribed Sheila so he could get her address and phone number off of the check she used to pay for a CD. His persistence pays off when a romantic evening of conversation at Savon’s house, dancing at a local reggae club, and Darius’ statement “I just want to come up and talk” leads to a passionate night at her apartment.
The next morning, Darius and Nina confide in their respective friends Savon and Josie that, in spite of the incredible sex, “It ain’t no love thing,” they “just kickin’ it.” Unfortunately, these two individuals aren’t exactly the best advisors they could have found - Josie is way down on men and lives her life vicariously through Nina, and Savon is mired in the problems of his eight-year marriage (his wife left him and took their son).
But Darius is getting interested. He even reveals to Nina the sacred location of “the Batcave” (his apartment), where some interesting foreplay ensues when she whips out her camera and tells Darius to take off his clothes. The romance advances.
Then, out of the blue, Marvin Cox (Khalil Kain), Nina’s former fiancée, shows up asking her for a second chance. At Josie’s suggestion, Nina uses the offer to test Darius: Will he be jealous, or coolly let her go? Darius pretends not to care, of course, and Nina moves to New York to see if she should resume her relationship with Marvin....