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"Single Black Female" Atlanta Screening

Source: Paras Griffin / Getty

 

On Feb. 5, Lifetime made the highly anticipated debut of their new thriller Single Black Female, starring Raven Goodwin and Amber Riley. The suspense-filled movie is a revamped version of Barbet Schroeder’s classic 1992 thriller Single White Female. This new and improved version from the network is just as unhinged and scary as the original.

Directed by Shari L. Carpenter, the story follows bustling TV host Monica, played by Goodwin, after her father’s tragic death. As she attempts to pick up the pieces of her life following her dad’s passing, Monica hires a new assistant Simone (Amber Riley). The two quickly become friends as they work together to level up Monica’s hosting career. When Simone moves in next door, cracks underneath her sweet exterior begin to show, revealing Simone’s ultimate plan to destroy Monica’s life for good.

Sounds scary, right?

Fans and a few celebrities were buzzing with commentary following the movie’s release, showering both Riley and Goodwin with praise for their stellar on-screen performances.

TV host Bevy Smith commented:

“@MsAmberPRiley & @ravengoodwin y’all giving us a good ole Kiki killing psychological thriller on a Saturday night!”

Another fan wrote:

“Loved seeing Amber and Raven as leading ladies #SingleBlackFemale they both deserve. Well done ladies.”

While designer Nina Parker gushed about the stars wearing a few of her fashionable pieces throughout the film.

“Ahhhh!!! NINA PARKER COLLECTION on #SingleBlackFemale tonight!! I had no idea I’m screaming!” she tweeted with excitement.

But for some social media users, there was a deeper meaning hidden behind Single Black Female’s action-packed storyline.

Award-winning author Evette Dionne tweeted that it was refreshing to see a plus-sized Black female actress cast in a leading role, especially on a network like Lifetime where the movies are typically laden with white female stars and story plots.

“Monica is a dark-skinned, fat protagonist who’s treated as a three-dimensional woman with love interests, a booming career, supportive friends, and all. Imagine that. It’s never as difficult as Hollywood pretends it to be,” she wrote.

Riley and Goodwin, who are both big fans of psychological thrillers, shared with The Washington Post that it was essential to convey Black women’s resilience and empowerment on-screen as they portrayed their characters. In the film’s original script, Goodwin noted how the writers initially intended for Monica to wake up in the opening scene depressed following her father’s passing, as she stared into the mirror and “poked at her belly.” The 29-year-old star told the publication she wasn’t having it.

“I was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ That is not what we do when we need to feel powerful. That is not what we do when we need another reason to get on about life,” the Lovely & Amazing actress continued. “I think we take the opposite approach. We look in the mirror-like, ‘Ooh, I’m fine, let me pump myself up to get back out here.'”

Riley echoed a similar sentiment:

“Monica is such a powerful character, too. You don’t get to where that character is — nor do you get to where myself or Raven is in this business — by getting up every morning and poking at your fat.”

Rarely do we get to see two beautiful Black leading actresses cast in a horror film. Following Single Black Female’s debut, a few critics across social media argued that the film might draw negative depictions of Black women as crazy or psychotic due to Riley spiraling on-screen performance. Still, the Glee alum reminded viewers that the movie should only serve as “pure entertainment.”

“Movies are made to be enjoyed, and it’s not a documentary,” she added. “It’s a scripted film, and a lot of things are exaggerated.”

Did you watch Single Black Female over the weekend? Let us know your thoughts on the film below!

 

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