First and foremost, I have to give thanks to Mary J. Blige for the title of this entry. Second, I have to state that this will be my LAST reference to how I feel about this movie! LOL, trust me, I know how sensitive an artist can be about their ish…
Anytime you read a diary, just as we are supposed to be doing in the film, you read people’s opinions and what they got out of the things that happened to them. I have never seen myself portrayed in a movie–definitely will not get into how I feel Black women are portrayed in them, especially in films by Black people, other than to say we are always too much–too angry, too bitter, too broken, too saintly, too naive…you name it.
I got the point. I got the “message.” It may be new to some, but I know several good Black men and the women they deal with who are subpar, and vice versa. I know how people hurt people, whether they be male or female. I know women cause just as many problems in a relationship as men–they say things to aggravate men, they do things to test them, they try to run things. Me, striving to be a Christian woman, I’ve accepted that 1: someone has to be submissive to someone else, and 2: God ordained that someone to be the female, aka me. Controlling a man is not something I ever set out to do, and if I found myself trying to, I would repent of that sin right then.
Far be it from me to control how someone expresses their experiences and relationships. But far be it from anyone to try to tell me how to feel about it. With any art, once you make it and share it, how people take it is really out of your hands. I like to be fair and well-balanced to everyone; it’s my nature. I never see anyone as all good or all bad, and I ALWAYS wonder why someone is the way they are, good or bad. When a film does something right, people are left slightly unsatisfied, like there is more to be said, hence where all the sequels come from. The artist may think I should be wondering “What can I do to let a good brother know his struggles and pain are seen and appreciated, to encourage him?” My thoughts are more “who shaped them? Where is the forgiveness for that other person, the understanding that all they can do is what they’ve been shown in their lives? Where is the movie where both the Black man and the Black woman are decent, normal people who find each other and make it work, despite all of what society has to say about that being an impossibility?”
I got the message long ago that there are good men out there, and have seen them end up with women who are merely physically attractive and nothing more, while I was by myself. Their is enough blame for a crappy relationship to lay on two people–and in my experience, “the good one” and “the bad one” are inapplicable labels.
But maybe I am expecting too much of one film about one person’s experiences in one relationship. So I digress. And, in actuality, I never said I didn’t like the film; I actually do think it did what it was supposed to. I hope you make another one. If I were a filmmaker, maybe I would make one. But I’m a writer, so this is what I do: critique!
I have a bit of a headache buzzing in my brain today; it started at work and has not calmed down. There is tension in my neck and shoulders, possibly pain lingering on from the car accident. I want to write about all the wonderful things I jotted down in my paper journal (yes I still keep one for my PRIVATE PRIVATE thoughts), but all I can hope to do is take a shower, take some asprin, eat a bit, and rest until this headache goes away. The next entry will be a good one, I promise. It’s about me and Mr. Perfect; how can it not be good?
My career as a film critic…still going strong! Next up…