I know I’m not the only one that swooned over Nina Moseley (Nia Long) and Darius Lovehall’s (Larenz Tate) relationship in Love Jones. The classic black love story, set in Chicago definitely had me living vicariously through Nina.
Although the underwhelming $12 million profit the movie turned wasn’t a hit by industry standards, it still became a staple movie for black romantics everywhere. Although I’m completely obsessed with this film and could watch it everyday, I’m not so sure I’d want to see a sequel. I’d hate for them to ruin the vibe of the first.
Nia and Larenz recently sat down with Essence to discuss the impact of Love Jones, the possibility of a sequel and their roles in the film.
First impressions of the Love Jones script:
Nia Long: I was like, ‘I love this, and I want to do it.’ There was no question. There was also the excitement of, ‘Oh my gosh, my first leading role.’ And I think it shaped the rest of my career.
Larenz Tate: My initial thoughts were: ‘I’m digging this character.’ And, being from Chicago, I found things in the movie that reflected what I knew. I also liked the idea of [Darius] being smart, and intelligent. The guy’s a writer. He’s creative. He’s artistic. I hadn’t done that. The script spoke to me.On the film’s impact:
Nia: I think Love Jones showed Black love in a way that we hadn’t seen on film in a very long time, specifically our generation of young people. It wasn’t the typical romantic comedy where it was about the jokes. I think the comedy was appreciated through the real-life situations. I also think it was pretty – the way it was shot, the lighting, the vibe of the movie was just very sexy and very cutting-edge. I think the film came out before its time, and I feel really lucky to be a part of something that has continued to resonate with people through all these years.
Larenz: I realized the impact when I would be walking somewhere and someone would be like, ‘Love Jones!’ I still meet women who say, ‘That’s in my DVD collection.’ I would talk to Nia, and she’d say, ‘That movie makes people go crazy.’ I also knew it was serious when brothers would come and say ‘Love Jones, man, that movie really helped me.’ It’s gotten so big that people do poetry Love Jones celebrations every single year, like Trekkies celebrate Star Trek.
Their favorite scenes:
Nia: The scene in the rain where Darius and Nina have their last kiss. It was so cold outside. I didn’t expect for the rain to be that cold, because it was movie rain. But then it really rained. So we had a combination of warm and cold rain. I went back into my trailer and I literally wrapped myself with plastic bags to try to stay warm. There was a big argument about that scene because everyone was like, ‘Black women don’t like to get their hair wet, and this is unrealistic.’ That’s not true. We can be in the moment. We’re not that concerned about our hair.
On the possibility of a sequel:
Nia: There’s talk about it. Larenz and I, if we do it, we’re going to do it right, and we’re gonna do it together. It’s a classic film and it has to be handled as such. And if these two characters can grow in a realistic way and we can do the film in a way that still gives people the feeling of ‘Wow, there’s still movies about Black love.’
Would you want there to be a Love Jones sequel? Let’s discuss on Twitter @Rhapsodani.
Check out a favorite scene from the movie–Nina and Darius’ first date.