As women, we’re definitely drawn to films that illicit a variety of emotions. There’s nothing better than a movie that can make us cry, laugh, think and even influence our lives. It’s apparent that the past couple of years have proven to be exceptional for black films, black directors and especially black actors, but we can’t forget about some of the classics that helped pave the way. Now, I’m not claiming to be a movie expert, but there are five classic films that every woman should have in their collection or seen at least once.
Check out my five favorites below. What would you add to the list?
1. “What’s Love Got to Do With It?”
The iconic story of Tina Turner was brought to the forefront in the 1993 film, “What’s Love Got To Do With It.” Angela Bassett channeled the rock, soul singer and showed audiences the ups and downs of Tina Turner’s musical career and her tumultuous relationship with estranged husband, Ike Turner. Although most of us weren’t around to witness Tina Turner’s career at it’s peak, this film helped us feel like we didn’t miss a beat and took us back in time to the period of funk music and Rock & Roll. The film also brought domestic violence to everyone’s attention, making the uncomfortable topic more acceptable to discuss.
2. “Coming to America”
“Coming to America” is over 20 years old and still makes me laugh like it was just released. Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall as Prince Akeem and Semmi are classic! Sure, we all know the outcome of the story, but the jokes never get old.
Anyone who grew up outside of New York City, “Crooklyn” was a staple of how life in the Big Apple, and particularly Brooklyn, really was. The move follows a young girl named Troy, her school teacher mother, her sassy siblings and her musician father who all live in a brownstone in Bed-Stuy in the 1970s. This movie touched on everything from family issues to the racially divided atmosphere of the 1970s and will be a staple in black culture for years to come.
4. “Waiting to Exhale”
“Waiting to Exhale” is a movie that every woman has seen a million times, and I’m sure won’t mind seeing a million more. The story of four friends going through real life drama in relationships, family life, marriages, cheating, abortions and more was a huge hit in the 1990s and is still relatable today. This film was one of the first to introduce Black professional, independent women to the world and may have even helped some of us get through our own relationship woes. Not to mention the movie soundtrack has the jams!
5. “Set It Off”
“Set It Off” is another story of a sisterhood like bond between four independent Black women but instead of dealing with relationship and family drama, these women were running from the law. Although the story ended in tragedy, the film is a classic and even provides lessons that we can apply to our lives today.