Love And Other Four Letter Words DVD Review


While most movies these days about females – whether black or white women – tend to run the deplorable gamut from sluts, brainless babes and saintly mothers to obese clowns and/or caustic shrews, Love And Other Four Letter Words delves into the more human side of quality of life issues for African American women. Using lightweight humor to take some of the bittersweet edge off black female pain, director Steven Ayromlooi, in collaboration with the film’s producer and star Tangi Miller, walks a fine line between staying serious or opting for an all-out buppie screwball crowd pleaser, and discarding certain stereotypes while reinforcing others.

Miller is Stormy La Rue, a Chicago TV talk show star with her own broadcast gig, The Stormy Morning Show, and a major player on the small screen. But the attractive thirtysomething celebrity’s got some major personal problems of her own, including being a stressed out, overwhelmed workaholic, not to mention chronically cranky and manless.

After visiting her ailing grandmother down home in Alabama, and lying about getting married in six weeks as a kind of fulfillment of a last wish for the woman who raised her, Stormy finds herself having to concoct a sham marriage ceremony to make good on her fib. After setting up a series of disaster auditions for prospective fake grooms – the kookiest episode of the movie as these super-vain guys strut and pose – Stormy settles reluctantly on a really lewd hunk with bad manners (Marcus Patrick) who just happens to be a stripper wowing the female customers in a downtown club.

However, a major crisis looms as Stormy finds herself falling for Arnold (Flex Alexander), an eager to reciprocate pastor and nerdy childhood pal that her grandmother has sent up north to perform the marriage as a surprise for the conniving bride-to-be, with grandma herself following not far behind. But all these troublesome loose ends are tied up far too conveniently, with all sorts of extreme happily ever after vibes. And can we stop equating women of the more Plain Jane variety with revolting dragon ladies, and dumping on country folk as idiot buffoons in these urban comedies. Love And Other Four Letter Words needed to focus more on laughing with the audience, rather than at them.

Image Entertainment

Rated R

DVD Features: Audio Commentary with Actress/Producer Tangi Miller and Actor Flex Alexander; Behind The Scenes Footage; Film Festival Tour; Theatrical Trailers.

Prairie Miller is a New York multimedia journalist online, in print and radio, who reviews movies and conducts in-depth interviews. She can also be heard on WBAI/Pacifica National Radio Network’s Arts Express.