Everyone wants “A Different World” Whitley and Dwayne type of love. A love where you know you’ve found your best friend. That love that Keyshia Cole sings about. This is the time, and all throughout the year, that we must bring our eyes to the screen when these movies play.
These are the movies you grew up with while your mother was doing your hair as the bobos knocked your head. The movies you now watch with your man or the girls. Here are the top 10 Black love films to watch this Valentine’s Day.
1. “Coming to America” (Hulu)
All anyone ever wants is to be loved by someone genuine. A love that isn’t measured on glamour or glitz, but by someone who’s there for a true connection.
With a comical twist, “Coming to America” is an embodiment of that when Prince Akeem (Eddie Murphy), the Prince of Zamunda, lets fate lead him and his friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall), to Queens, New York to find his true love. But there is a catch – he disguises himself as an extremely poor person so he can be accepted as himself instead of being forced into an arranged marriage.
The romantic comedy leads Prince Akeem to believe he finds his wife Lisa McDowell (Shari Headley). What starts as a genuine bond with Lisa unravels into broken hearts, rejection and doubt.
Does the prince find his love? Does he find his “Queen to be?”
2. “Queen and Slim” (Hulu)
“Queen and Slim.” The definition of Black love. The love where one can be themselves, expressive and raw. A love where there is a connection but also a place where they choose each other despite the tumultuous ride they experience. What starts as a normal evening on their way to their first date, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) and Slim (Daniel Kaluuya) find themselves to be stopped by an aggressive police officer due to minor traffic violations.
The police escalate the scene, and Slim takes matters into his own hands as a means of self-defense. Headlines face the media of them being labeled as “cop killers,” leading them to go on a journey out of their hometown to escape that lie.
The film highlights the harsh reality of what Black people face living in a white man’s world and how much it takes for them to be heard and receive justice.
However, Queen and Slim find the eye of the storm. There’s a duality of where you feel nervous but also calm knowing that it’s their love that keeps them together.
3. “Jumping the Broom” (HBO Max)
A fairy tale wedding — the day all little girls dream of. That’s until their future mother-in-law does everything in their power to derail it.
Successful corporate lawyer Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton), who comes from wealth, has been unlucky in love for quite some time until she accidentally runs her Wall Street dream guy, Jason Taylor (Laz Alonso), over. But who knew hitting someone with a car would turn into a six-month whirlwind courtship and an engagement?
When their families gather at Martha’s Vineyard for the big day, it’s evident each side has different traditions, making their coexistence a recipe for disaster.
Only one question remains though — will the couple even make it down the aisle?
4. “Just Wright” (Tubi)
“Just Wright” stars the one and only Queen Latifah as Leslie Wright, who is unapologetically herself while defying society’s standards of women. The basketball fan goes on dates to possibly find her true love but is tired of the same old cycle of these men.
Leslie bumps into world-famous NBA star Scott McKnight (Common), but the rom-com takes a turn when Scott falls in love with Leslie’s bestie, Morgan Alexander (Patton).
Scott falls into deep waters that almost end his basketball career. Morgan refuses to marry someone who sits on the bench. But Leslie keeps the NBA player’s career in her hands. They form a connection but are tested with overturns, curves and many fouls.
Is their bond “Just Wright?” Or is he just one of the men that Leslie always finds herself seeing?
5. “Think Like A Man” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Think Like A Man” is a romantic comedy that centers around Dominic (Michael Ealy), Jeremy (Jerry Ferrera), Michael (Terrence J) and Zeke (Romany Malco), a group of longtime friends who all happen to be in relationships. There’s only one thing missing: they can’t commit.
You know what that means ladies — time to take matters into our own hands. So, who better to dial up for dating and relationship advice than Steve Harvey? The ladies eventually venture out and purchase Harvey’s book, “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man,” and start to implement his wise words into their relationships.
After learning their ladies are deceiving them, the boys join forces to conspire and turn the tables. Checkmate!
6. “Poetic Justice” (Tubi)
Tupac. There’s nothing else that really has to be said. When one hears that name, you just know whatever it is, it’s going to be more than exceptional.
The legend stars alongside another music superstar, Janet Jackson, as they take their romance on the road from South Central, Los Angeles to Oakland. But it’s not smooth sailing at first.
Justice (Jackson) is grieving the loss of her boyfriend, and to cope, she drowns herself in poetry. The last thing she needs is Lucky (Tupac) in her ear 24/7.
But you know what they say, opposites attract.
Infused with poetry written by Maya Angelou, “Poetic Justice” is an exact depiction of Black struggles, artistry and love.
7. “Love and Basketball” (HBO Max)
We all remember our first fling as a child.
Monica (played by both Sanaa Lathan and Kyla Pratt) is an independent woman who makes it clear she doesn’t need any man and can beat all y’all in a game of one-on-one.
She and her childhood crush Qunicy McCall (Omar Epps), who also plays basketball, do a little bit more than reconnect. They find an attraction to each other, but life seems to test them with curveballs, showing that people grow up.
But this film is a testament that you must fight for what you want as they play a game of one-on-one for their love.
8. “Why Did I Get Married?” (HBO Max)
There’s nothing like a bae-cation with your other married friends. Nights by the firepit, “tea time,” game night — you name it. While that may be the case for some couples retreats, that’s definitely not the case for these couples.
“Why Did I Get Married?” follows eight married friends as they take their annual trip into the snowy, white mountains of Colorado. What starts off as a peaceful reunion turns into a weekend full of revelations of infidelity, commitment issues, betrayals and new flings.
For better or for worse, right?
9. “About Last Night” (Starz)
They always say love comes when you least expect it, and that happens to be the case for Danny (Michael Ealy) and Debbie (Joy Bryant). Although both are weary of the idea of any type of relationship, they decide to explore their undeniable and burning chemistry together for several nights.
Those nights turn into a whirlwind romance, but outside forces seem to think otherwise. Everybody loves sunny days, but it’s the storms that prove to be the ultimate test for Danny and Debbie.
Ladies, there’s one thing to remember: if he wanted to, he would!
10. “Diary of a Mad Black Women” (Hulu)
Madea. “Ma to the damn D-E-A!” (Tyler Perry). The mother that’s there when you need it most. The mother of tough love. The mother that will tell you how it is. The film begins with Helen (Kimberly Elise) in an abusive relationship with Charles McCarter (Steve Harris), but Madea teaches her to step up.
Helen switches from a helpless state in the relationship to an undefeatable Black woman who puts herself first and realizes she can do bad all by herself.
In the midst of that transition in her life, she finds a foine (read: fine with a twang) chocolate man, Orlando (Shemar Moore), who is emotionally mature and leads her, as the man of God he is.
Will Charles take accountability? Will Helen stay with Orlando?
Celebrate this Valentine’s Day and Black History Month by allowing some irresistible Black love to grace your screen.
There are plenty of options to dabble into, so grab your significant other, and if you’re single, grab that tub of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. Happy Love Day!