Last weekend I saw Lakeview Terrace. Before even hitting the theatre, I had reservations on it because from what I heard from various sources, the movie A. wasn't as good as a typical Samuel L. Jackson film usually is and B. wasn't really believable when compared to real-life schematics on the issue at hand. The issue, being interracial marriages and its effect on Blacks.
After hearing these things about the film, I'll admit that I wasn't really looking forward to going to see it. I'd have rather waited until it came out on DVD to be honest. However, I was with my girls AND we were in Quincy. The girls wanted to see it AND there were no other desirable movies left to see in Quincy as Miracle at St. Anna hadn't even hit Quincy at all. This didn't shock me because when Dream Girls came out, it never came to Quincy either.
Quincy, for those not in the know, is a rural town that is primarily comprised of Caucasians. For this reason alone, a lot of "ethnic" oriented things (food, clothing, and media outlets) are completely non-existent in the area. It's comparable to going to the land of Pleasantville (remember the movie) because there are so many things that the town lacks as far as what the rest of society is kept to speed on. Quincy, Illinois just got a Starbucks last November for crying out loud. Starbucks, one of the fastest growing franchises this side of McDonald's, just got to Quincy, Illinois and you wouldn't believe the amount of people I've come across in the area who had never ever even tasted anything from Starbucks….except for the cold frappucinos sold in grocery stores. It's a mess.
(Real world is in color. Quincy operates in Black and White, smh)
But back to the film. Did I enjoy? What did I think of it? What was my reaction?
Two words: Three stars. That's it.
Why only three? Well, as stated before, I walked in the theatre with a preconceived notion in my mind already. I already had a perception of said film before the opening credits so when it came on, I was actually looking for certain things to prove my perception wrong.
Things I was looking for:
I can't say that I wasn't entertained, because I was. However, I also can't say that it wasn't a "positive" type of entertainment. I was entertained in that I was watching a popular movie that featured one of the most popular actors and I was with my homies, but I was terribly bothered by the antics that were taking place. Sitting with my girls with Caucasian faces all over the small theatre, I was livid.
[Spoiler here; don't read anymore of this review if you haven't seen the movie yet. You have been warned.]
Samuel L. Jackson was tripping. Hard. Did anyone catch just how ridiculous his antics had become? It was one thing to have the big beaming light on the couple's house and another thing entirely to have a convicted felon tear into the couple's home, break in, and then shoot (and intentionally kill) said felon when the felon had gotten caught by Kerry Washington's character just to cover his own ass. I was so thrown off by just how much hate Mister Jackson had for the couple that I was about ready to walk up out of the theatre and just wait out in the lobby for my girls to come out when it was over.
And why was I so upset?
I have never been in an interracial relationship. I have had boyfriends and dated men that were of mixed race, sure, but never have I dated a man that didn't have any African-American in his blood so I can not relate on a severely personal level. However, I do have friends that are in interracial relationships, I have family that are married to people outside of their race, and my paternal grandfather was an American Indian. In addition to this, interracial couples are extremely common in Quincy alone.
However, being that I am no stranger to seeing or even being close to interracial couples and how they make things work for them doesn't take away from the fact that Samuel L. Jackson's character was completely unbelievable in my opinion. Sure, I understand the underlying method to his madness when he addressed his hate for the couple because of what happened to his late wife and how a white man killed her. I understand that completely and I'm really glad that that scene was added otherwise I'd have really been in a whirlwind of emotions over the film but…let's be real here. Black men just don't act that way. Period.
If given a choice, Black women are the ones that'd have more of a problem with interracial marriages, especially if the couple featured a well-to-do Black man and a seemingly average White woman. Black women can be up in arms and throwing a fit because "a good Black man is hard to come by" and to see him hand in hand with a White woman is grounds for teeth-gritting, protests, and curse words. Women are more emotional than men by default. This is no surprise. Save the Last Dance was a lot more believable.
White men would also have more of a problem with interracial couples as well, specifically older white men. It bothers white men to see a white man with a black woman at times. "Why can't he find someone on his level" are some things that can be said, as us Blacks are considered equivalents to our White counterparts (though that theory is being more and more disproved and this election alone proves it).
But a black man? Seriously? I don't buy it. Sorry.
I understand he had reservations and no one is saying that his disgust wasn't real. It happens. But to that degree though? Not so much. A black man can be a little peeved by the sight of a sista with a White man, but he isn't going to come scaling skyscrapers on some superhero "Stop the Madness" bull. Please. It just isn't going to happen. He's too cool for that. He'd most likely say a snide comment or three, joke in serious jest* with his buddies and maybe his mother, give a side eye in their direction, and keep it moving. He's got more important things to do and he can't risk losing cool points for going off the handle for any amount of time at an interracial couple he doesn't even know. His swag game is a bit more pressing.
(Getcha hatin' ass on, Mista Sam and work on your swag game, homie!)..
On another note, I did not like Kerry Washington's character at all either. Am I the only one that found her a bit too assimilated to White culture? She wasn't a sista--just a White woman with a deep tan. And there's nothing wrong with that, I suppose. I just needed her to be a bit more "real", ya know? I feel as though she kinda lost herself in her marriage and had fully assimilated to her husband's culture. Does anyone agree?
So as a result of all of this, the film got three stars from this critic. What did you think of it? What were your views?