As promised, welcome to the resurgence of Movie Night Friday. Whoop Whoop! If you’re new to this blog, please visit the Movie Night Friday Page HERE and then take a look at last week’s post HERE.
Since this is the first week of our return, I decided I won’t go in hard. For our welcome back I decided to choose a movie that’s light and fun. One that is entertaining but also has many lessons that we can learn from. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen it but don’t worry, doggie and me was more than happy to re-watch it for you. To be transparent, I am watching it as I am writing this.
There aren’t many movies I watch just for entertainment but I do love this one (I’m a sucker for all black casts! Gotta love my people). Probably one of Terrance Howard’s funniest roles, let’s jump right in shall we?
“Harper Stewart (Diggs) is a young man living in Chicago with his beautiful and devoted girlfriend, Robyn (Lathan). However, Harper has a professional life as an author and is on the verge of a major breakthrough. He is hesitant about committing to a woman. Harper’s debut novel, Unfinished Business, has been selected by Oprah’s Book Club, pretty much guaranteeing him a bestseller.
Harper travels to New York City, where his best friend, Lance (Chestnut), who is a running back for the New York Giants, is getting married to a young lady named Mia (Calhoun), who is also an old friend of Harper’s. Harper is picked up at the airport by his friend, Murch (Perrineau), and they catch up in the car. Eventually, they meet up with Jordan (Long), Harper’s old what-could-have-been female friend who has obtained an advanced copy of his book and has been passing it around their inner circle of friends. Due to its autobiographical nature, Harper never intended for any of them to read “Unfinished Business” prior to the wedding.”
A romantic comedy, the movie surrounds the friendship between Harper and Lance leading up to his wedding. Harper is Lance’s Best Man and the movie deals with the tension building up to the point where Lance reads the book written by Harper and the truth concerning his perfect little Mia. Stupidly, Harper has laid out all the juicy details in his book.
What I love about this movie is that it has laughs, drama, and a message. It is not a movie I watch all the time anymore but whenever I need to relax to a laugh I put it on. Here are some bullet points and dear authors, don’t be Harper.
#1. Never write a fictional book based on real life events that you don’t want to get out.
This was by far the stupidest thing ever. First off, everyone knew who was who in the book, so even though Harper tried disguising the individuals, it was still apparent who they were. Harper, these are your college friends you still keep in touch with. They know you well. Did you really think they wouldn’t know who they were? People, if you want to air your dirty laundry then just do it. Don’t write a book about it.
#2. Ladies, don’t be controlling!
Murch and Shelby’s relationship is annoying. It’s annoying because the woman is controlling and the man is too weak to call her on it. We are supposed to be there to support our men, to stand by them, and to help them, not to control their every move. Men are natural leaders. Let them lead!
#3. Don’t Judge
Candy was a stripper yes but she ended up being the perfect match for Murch.
#4. Don’t be a hypocrite
One minute Lance is quoting the bible and the next he’s giving Harper permission to cheat.
#4. You are not in control
The more we try to control what is beyond our reach, the more mistakes we are bound to make. Everything also happens for a reason. If Lance would have never found out, maybe Harper would not have appreciated Robyn the way he did in the end and the information could have come up later in Lance marriage and destroyed it.
#6. Be forgiving
Lastly, no matter what you go through in your relationship, be forgiving. Robyn could have walked out on Harper and Lance could have walked out on Mia.
Forgiveness is powerful not just because of how it changes the individual but how it changes everyone involved. You are not forgiving just for their sake, but for yours. Forgiveness is powerful because what goes around, comes around. The energy you put out will come back. It’s inevitable. If you want to be forgiven of your mistakes, then you must be willing to forgive others. It’s the only way.
As I did before, here’s the trailer to The Best Man and no, I do not recommend Best Man Holiday. As much as I love this movie I did not like the sequel. Not only do I not celebrate holidays but part two was just …whack. Some movies cannot be remade.
Today I introduce to you Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller, the first black woman to receive a federal commission for her art. Fuller’s artwork became the precursor to the resurgence of African themes in art seen during the Harlem Renaissance Movement. Not only a time of Jazz, Literature, and Flapper women, this explosion of black artistic culture also included artwork which is not discussed as much as let’s say the literature and the music.
Born in Philadelphia in 1877, Fuller was the youngest of three children born to William and Emma Warrick. Prominent hair stylists who owned a flourishing Philadelphia store, Fuller’s father was a prosperous barber and the owner of several shops. Her mother was a hairdresser with wealthy white clients who were served in the family’s shop. The family also took vacations to the same places as did their upper-class white Philadelphian clients and lived in a three-story house. Why is it then that Fuller’s name is different from her parents?
Meta was named after one of these clients, Meta Vaux, the daughter of a Senator Richard Vaux. It makes me think about many blacks during the time and whether or not we felt we needed to assimilate into white society in order to fit into the culture of America. For instance, both W.E.B. Dubois and Meta (who was close with Dubois) felt that blacks were capable of the highest achievements but also that this meant to be educated as whites were educated. In addition, despite eventually producing “African” themed art, Meta rejected DuBois initial suggestion that she concentrate on African-American themes when they first met in Europe.
While Meta was successful and is highlighted here as an unfamiliar face, a precursor if you will to The Harlem Renaissance, the movement itself was not all rainbows and whistles. While the artistic explosion is something I love (being a poet and all) I hate that some blacks (as talented as we are) felt at the time that they needed to fit in with White America in order to make it, a truth not everyone is willing to acknowledge but this is Black History Fun Fact Friday so we must keep it real. As Carl Van Vechten titled his book, for many blacks Harlem was, at the time, “Nigger Heaven”.
Nonetheless, in October of 1889, Fuller arrived in Paris where for the next three years she would study with prominent French sculptors which would have a major impact on her work. While in Europe this is where she would encounter Dubois for the second time and it was the beginning of a friendship that continued for many years. Dubois and Thomas Calloway was organizing a Negro exhibit for the Paris Exposition and visited Meta’s studio to her surprise.
When Meta returned to the States, she established a studio in Philadelphia where art organizations flourished and in the early 1900s through the twenties she continued to do well. In 1928, she was selected to show her work at The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1909 she did a 15-piece work for The Jamestown Tercentennial Exposition illustrating black’s progress in America since the Jamestown settlement. Fuller also received a gold medal for “The Jamestown Tableau,” and this established her reputation as an artist and began a long and committed career. Despite my personal feelings, it is refreshing to study the faces of some of the unknown artists of this most important time in history.
TALON COME FLY WITH ME is about a small girl and her search for her purpose in life. Matica and her family live in the village of Pucara in Peru where the Indians have restricted Matica from playing with their children because of her small size. Thinking she’s possessed by an evil spirit it leaves Matica feeling lonely and without purpose in life because she’s so small. The story opens with Matica and her little brother Aikon searching for food to feed Matica’s birds. Aikon is in a hurry to play with his friend Emelio which makes Matica sad. She admires her brother having friends since she has none. Well, she almost has none.
The story is about Matica’s friendship with a family of Condors, the largest vultures on Earth and the largest land birds. In a place, she called Ramah, which Matica named after the biblical city Ramah, Matica befriends Tamo and Tima, the condor couple. There is only one problem. The condors are nearly extinct and are being hunted by poachers. They only lay one egg a year and the poachers are on a quest to steal the bird’s egg which they can get paid lots of money for. Matica has learned how to communicate with the birds in a way that the Indians cannot but can she help them to save their egg?
I feel funny reviewing this book seeing that there are already over one hundred reviews! I can see why, it’s a cute story, well-written, and simple enough for young children to enjoy. Personally, I enjoyed the symbolism tied into Matica’s size and that of the birds. The Condors are huge which makes them look clumsy and weird and Crayn, Matica’s father, thinks they are ugly (I have to agree, they do look funny. Sorry Matica lol). Similarly, Matica is small and odd looking to the Indians who has made her an outcast.
Additionally, I loved the mention of the birds having to be pushed off the cliff at six months old to learn to fly. To me, the entire book was Matica being pushed off the cliff so that she can learn to fly. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so I’ll leave it there. This is book one in the Talon series although to me the ending was well written so I would have thought this to be standalone. I would recommend this book to middle-grade readers and pre-teens.
Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5
Entertainment Factor: 4/5
Authenticity / Believable: 5/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5 / 5
Talon, Come Fly with Me is available now on Amazon on Kindle and paperback