Some of the greatest films in the history of Black cinema have explored all the beauty and complexities of Black love. The unique stories about love as told from the Black experience are essential as we reflect on our past and seek to build new relationships in the future (No pressure tho).
On Valentine's Day, we celebrate Black love in ways that speak to us. When it comes to films that celebrate Black love, marriage, singledom, and sexuality, there are several that hold iconic status in Black culture. We know every word from every scene as we laugh and cry while watching them.
Whether you are with your significant other or you're enjoying your own company by loving on yourself, here are 12 can’t-miss films to watch on Valentine's Day.
Synopsis: Notorious playboy Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy )is a successful marketing executive and has more ladies than he knows what to do with. However, after meeting and falling for his beautiful new boss Jacqueline (Robin Givens), who happens to be more of a player than he is, he finally meets his match. Complicating matters, Marcus begins to develop feelings for his co-worker Angela (Halle Berry) as he finally gets a taste of his own medicine
Love Jones (1997)
Synopsis: After a chance meeting at a Chicago club, Darius (Larenz Tate), an aspiring writer, and Nina (Nia Long) have an instant connection that leads to a hot romance. They share a love of the arts and really begin to dig each other. But when Darius is non-committal about their relationship, Nina moves to New York to reconcile with her ex-fiance and Darius realizes his tragic error. Darius and Nina must get beyond themselves to discover what's really important.
The Best Man (1999)
Synopsis: A group of college friends plan an epic reunion when Lance (Morris Chestnut), an NFL running back marries his fiance Mia (Monica Calhoun). But sparks begin to fly when Harper (Taye Diggs), his best man, discovers that his soon-to-be-released novel, about a rendezvous he had with Mia, starts circulating amongst everybody and will derail the wedding.
The Wood (1999)
Synopsis: Three childhood friends Mike (Omar Epps), Roland (Taye Diggs), and Slim (Richard T. Jones) reflect upon memories of their childhood in growing up in Inglewood, Calif., while preparing for Roland's upcoming wedding to his fiancée, Lisa (LisaRaye). When Roland is MIA right before his big day, Mike and Slim have to find him and get him to the wedding before everyone leaves the ceremony. As they try to get Roland together, they recount their stories of being wild young boys to grown men.
Love and Basketball (2000)
Synopsis: Monica (Sanaa Lathan) and Quincy (Omar Epps) are two childhood friends who both aspire to be professional basketball players. Over time, they develop a love for each other but several outside forces threaten their relationship. However, in the end, their love for the game of basketball and each other bring them back together.
Brown Sugar (2002)
Synopsis: Sidney (Sanaa Lathan) and Dre (Taye Diggs) relationship has mirrored the emergence of hip-hop. Years later, Dre becomes a successful music executive and Sidney a highly-regarded music journalist. Their feelings for each other finally manifest in one night of passion but Dre is engaged to be married. When Sidney gets engaged and Dre’s marriage is falling apart, they must accept the reality that hip-hop has always been a metaphor for the love they have for each other.
Deliver Us From Eva (2003)
Synopsis: Eva (Gabrielle Union) has been running her life and the lives of her sisters since their parents passed away when they were young. Her sisters' husbands have had enough of Eva’s ways and her iron-clad fist over the family's trust fund. The husbands decide to hire smooth-talking Ray Adams (LL Cool J) to woo Eva out of their lives. But what no one counted on was Ray and Eva falling in love.
Synopsis: Date doctor Alex “Hitch” Hitchens (Will Smith) dedicates his life to helping men land a date with the woman of their dreams and prides himself on having no emotional attachment to any woman. One of his clients, the very awkward Albert (Kevin James), is deeply in love with heiress Allegra Cole (Amber Valletta) who’s being followed by Sara Melas (Eva Mendes), a tabloid reporter. Hitch falls for Sara but everything is jeopardized when she discovers that he is the infamous “Date Doctor.”
Something New (2006)
Synopsis: Kenya McQueen (Sanaa Lathan) is about her business and career so much that she has no time for love. After being set up on a blind date with architect Brian Kelly (Simon Baker), she curves him when she discovers he's white. She becomes interested in him after seeking his architectural work friend's mansion and hires him to design her new garden and he sweeps her off her feet. But when her friends introduce her to Mark Harper (Blair Underwood) a successful executive, Kenya must decide which man she will choose to be with.
Our Family Wedding (2010)
Synopsis: Nothing brings out the love and craziness in families quite like planning a wedding. When Lucia (America Ferrera) and Marcus (Lance Gross) return from college and announce their engagement to their parents, their wedding gets stolen right from under them. Their fathers (Forest Whitaker and Carlos Mencia) are planning to turn their special day into an all-out war between the families. In the end, love conquers all.—even bickering families.
Think Like a Man (2012)
Synopsis: Friends Cedric (Kevin Hart) Dominic (Michael Ealy), Jeremy (Jerry Ferrara), Michael (Terrence J), and Zeke (Romany Malco) are all having tension in their relationships. Their ladies (Megan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union) buy Steve Harvey’s relationship book and start to apply its advice to their relationships. After learning about the conspiracy, Dominic and his friends buy the book and try to turn the tables on the women they love.
What Women Want (2019)
After not receiving the promotion she believed she earned, sports agent Ali Davis (Taraji P. Henson) feels the weight of sexism as she navigates the male-dominated industry. Seeking answers, she visits a psychic, and drinks a concoction that gives her the ability to hear what men are thinking. Armed with this incredible gift, Ali begins to outwit her male counterparts and forges a love connection with Will Thomas (Aldis Hodge), a local bartender she met as she learns that she can have the job and relationships she's always wanted.