Back in 1997 a movie well before its time called Love Jones starring Larenz Tate and Nia Long was released. Me and my girl Dana saw the movie and were instantly hooked. It was a comedy/tear-jerk girl-meets-boy-girl-falls-for-boy-boy-and-girl-afraid-of-love-and-split-boy-and-girl-admit-they-love-each-other-in-the-end. You know…the typical plot you wish would happen in your life if you’re single. Well, that was us back then.
But, aside from the fact that we’re hopeless romantics, one of the main inanimate charters of the movie was poetry. The film was set in Chicago and all of the main and supporting characters liked to hang out in a local club that featured a house jazz band and spoken word or “performance poetry”.
I remember watching that movie over and over once it was available for purchase and wishing there were places like that in the Bay Area. I had always heard how culturally rich Chicago is and longed for even a small slice of that in my own stomping grounds. Luckily, for a brief fleeting moment a little spot in Oakland did in fact start a spoken word night on Tuesdays I believe, and me, Dana and oftentimes other girlfriends would gather together at this little bar to be enlightened and entertained by local poets and hip-hop artist wannabes.
We always had a great time and as a writer I used to secretly wish that I had the nerve to get up on stage, grab the mic and share my thoughts with the crowd. But I was never that bold…and didn’t think too many people would care much about the man I was pining over at the time which was then the driving force behind all of my poetic attempts.
Yet and still, even after I met my husband Love Jones was and is still a great movie (the soundtrack is equally good), and I just think there is something very cool about adults gathering together and sharing their creative flow while some smooth and sultry tunes play in the background. A nice Appletini on the side wouldn’t hurt either!
I dunno, maybe it’s just the artsy-fartsy nature in me that is drawn to things like that. Whatever it is, I miss it, and something like that would make for a great date night with hubby. In the meantime though, I think I’ll go through my movie stash and pull out my VHS copy (yikes!) of Love Jones and pop it in…see if I can remember some of the lines I had memorized at one point and have a good laugh, and yes, probably a good cry too. You know, just for hopeless romantic old time’s sake.