If you’re single, today is just another Friday. But if you’ve got a special someone in your life, it’s Valentine’s Day. And what better way to spend the holiday than a romantic trip to the movies!
The Photograph was written and directed by Stella Meghie, and stars Issa Rae as ‘Mae Morton’ and LaKeith Stanfield as ‘Michael Block’. Michael is a journalist who is doing a story on Mae’s mother ‘Christina Eames’ (played by Chanté Adams), who is a famous photographer. Michael meets with Mae to get more information but soon the two develop feelings for each other.
Some people have been comparing this to 1997’s Love Jones which starred Lorenz Tate and Nia Long. I don’t really like to compare movies unless they’re sequels or remakes. The only thing similar is that it’s about two black people in love trying to figure out how to make their relationship work. But a story like this could be played by any race or gender.
Usually films like this follow similar patterns and the story unfolds in a predictable way: Guy and girl meet, fall in love, friends have doubts, they are determined to prove everyone wrong, somebody screws it up somehow, but it ends with a catchy song and everyone happy. I don’t necessarily have a problem with this formula, I just like to be surprised now and then. I actually made a bet with Sway at the screening that something was going to happen in the plot that actually didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised but happy that I didn’t bet too much money.
Another thing to note about this particular film is that it doesn’t spend 1hr 46m focusing primarily on the relationship between Mae and Michael. There are other stories woven in between like Mae trying to understand why her mother seemed so distant, flashbacks to her mother’s past, and learning why it is so important to live life to the fullest.