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Issa Rae


Why The Photograph is NOT The Next Love Jones

Have you seen The Photograph with Issa Rae and new heart throb LaKeith Stanfield? My husband and I were given the opportunity to preview the movie last week. I left the movie with a “feel good” spirit. 

Let me get straight to the point. This post is NOT to bash The Photograph because I enjoyed the movie. However, it seems that every time a possible black love story comes out, it’s compared to Love Jones. With this movie, the same sentiments rang true, “It’s no Love Jones!” It’s not. My thoughts are Love Jones is Love Jones. We (as a whole) didn’t even know Love Jones was going to be the classic hit it was when we saw it. I love the movie but I probably love it more because I’m Larenz Tate’s biggest fan and his chemistry with Nia Long is so familiar. 

The Photograph is a nice love story. Simple. Does it give you Love Jones Vibes? Yes. There were a few moments in the movie where I felt the director (or writer) watched Love Jones and took subtle nuances from the movie.

  • For example, when Michael Block (LaKeith Stanfield) wanted to play her an album.
  • The angle of the camera at the end of the movie (you have to see it to know what I’m talking about
  • The mom being a photographer and the love from behind the camera, and the dark room. 
  • A character moving somewhere else and they have to make it work.

What I enjoyed about The Photograph

datenight_bernettastyleIt was a love story that left out race. I noticed in the movie that they didn’t mention one time that the characters were black or race at all. They just were. The way this love story was told could have been anyone but the characters were black. 

Two love stories in one. The trailer gives you a peek into Mae Morton’s (Issa Rae) character about following in her mom’s, Christina Eames, foot steps in not knowing how to love, but the movie goes deeper into her mother’s life. Issa’s mothers character writes her a full letter (that’s as long as a book) basically telling her about her life before her and reveals a big secret. During the movie, the story toggles back and forth between Mae meeting Michael and her mom’s own love story. 

Through this story she learns more about her mom, herself and why if she doesn’t do something she will repeat her mother’s behavior and miss out on the love of her life. 

The dialogue. It was natural. It was like most interactions are and that’s what made it so sweet. Have you ever had a strong connection with someone you just met and you don’t want to say the wrong thing but you want to be yourself at the same time. I felt that as these two characters met and started to get to know each other.

The Secret. This is the one things I’m not going to share. I will let you see the movie for yourself. I’m glad she found out the secret but like all secrets, you wish you would have known earlier. Secrets can change the direction of someone’s life and before you decide to keep a secret, make sure it’s worth it. People keep secrets with the best intentions, but still end up hurting the people they love in the end. 

Love Doesn’t Fade. There was a character in the movie that loved a woman for 30 years. These two were young adults and although their love was strong, her desire to have more than what her little town could offer was stronger. She wanted him, but also wanted to chase her dreams in New York. He was afraid to go. So she left.

He married another girl 3 months later and had a full life with his wife, but always loved the other woman (this sounds so familiar to me). There was major regret in not chasing after his true love or even contacting her over the years. 30 years later when he found out she died, you could tell the disappointment on his face. His love never faded even though he spent his life with another woman. Her love for him actually never faded either, but she had a new life. 

bernettastyle_thephotograph_datenightLessons From The Photograph

If you love someone and have the chance to tell them, do it. If you’re in a position to be with them and they are the one for you, be with them. When you love someone and can’t be with them for choices you made, that is a huge pain to carry. Love is worth trying to make it work. However, both parties have to be willing to do so. 

Be yourself from the beginning. We all want this special person to like us, but they need to like/love the real us because eventually the real us will surface. You might as well be you from the start. 

Try something new. Change is apart of life. If you stay still, you get stale and stuck. So try something new with someone you love. It’s way more fun. Even if you do something as small as try a new place to eat every time you all go out. It’s a start. Just get unstuck and be open to new experiences. 

In conclusion, The Photograph is not the new or next Love Jones. It’s The Photograph, a sweet love story that stands alone and could easily be a crowd favorite or future classic.

My husband and I enjoyed it. 

Check out the trailer:
Have you seen it? Can you relate to any part of the movie?

Event Recap

3 Little Movie Lessons That Are Actually Huge!

When we first saw the previews, we (my children and I) knew we wanted to see the movie Little, starting Marsai Martin, Regina Hall, and Issa Rae. I was happy to be able to get tickets to screen it a few days early.

If you’ve seen the trailer,  you know that Little is about a take no prisoner boss who steps on everyone in her path. One day she says the wrong things to the wrong little girl and she puts a curse on her. The spell basically turns Jordan (Regina Hall & Marsai Martin) back into a 13-year-old girl. 

Just watching 13-year-old Jordan trying to navigate an adult world as a 13-year-old is hilarious. April (Issa Rae) is her assistant that basically helps her navigate through this strange time in her life. However, there are a few bumps in the road along the way. 

Here are three BIG lessons we learned from LITTLE:

Every Bully has a Reason “Why” they Bully.

Nobody loves a bully for obvious reasons. How many people take the time to see why he/she is actually well – bullying. Many times its deep-rooted issues that they can’t fix, so they take it out on other people. 

In the movie Little, the main character, Jordan, was bullied in middle school, so when she grew up she bullied people. She hurt people before they could hurt her again, and anything that remotely felt like niceness was considered weak.

Fear Can Paralyze You.

Fear is a big reason many people don’t do the things that they want to do. Even I have been crippled with fear. I’ve had to help people get over the fear and vice versa. The sad thing is fear is all in our minds. When we realize that we are more powerful then we give ourselves credit for, we can/will soar!

Little, shows us how Jordan’s personal fear allowed her to build a wall around her. This wall kept people out who wanted to love her and genuinely see her succeed. She looked around and learned she had no healthy relationships because of the fear of letting people get too close.

When You Get a Second Change Take it.

Not everyone gets a second chance at life. When the chance comes take it! Do you need to apologize to someone? Do you need to make something right? Or do you just need a good old do-over? 

Jordan got an unexpected chance to redo 13 again and her middle school years. This also happens to be the period that changed her life. This was her opportunity at a second chance. She almost let history repeat itself. 


Have you seen Little yet? My children LOVED it and can’t wait to see it again. I enjoyed looking over at them laughing with big smiles on their faces. I loved that they had parts they could relate to as tweens and teens, in addition to things I could relate to as an adult. 

There are a couple of sexual references and April (Issa Rae) is constantly telling men in the movie, “You can get it!” In addition to a brief comment about it being dried up “down there”. If you can get past those things, your tweens should be fine. 

If you’ve already seen this movie, I’d love you hear your thoughts! What did your children think? What was your favorite part?