Disappearing Acts

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Disappearing Acts
Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood
Produced by Terry McMillan
Wesley Snipes
Kimiko Fox
Written by Terry McMillan (novel)
Lisa Jones (teleplay)
Starring Sanaa Lathan
Wesley Snipes
Regina Hall
Distributed by HBO films
Release date(s) December 9, 2000
Running time 115 min.
Language English
Budget $7,500,000 (estimate)

Disappearing Acts is a 2000 romantic drama, directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, and stars Sanaa Lathan, Wesley Snipes, and Regina Hall. The film is an adaptation of the New York Times best-selling novel Disappearing Acts, by Terry McMillan.


Franklin Swift (Wesley Snipes) is a struggling construction worker trying to keep his mind off romance. Zora Banks (Sanaa Lathan) is a woman who is working as a teacher with a promising musical career. The last thing either of them needs is a lover. When they meet one afternoon in Brooklyn, New York, neither one can walk away. Now, they must confront the financial and social challenges that test the strength of their love.

The film begins with Zora moving from Manhattan to her newly renovated brownstone in Brooklyn. Franklin is polishing the floors in what will be her new apartment. Franklin informs her that she cannot move in yet due to her woodgrain floors not being dry. An upset Zora then threatens to fire one of the moving men, who proceed to leave her furniture and boxes on the sidewalk. Desperate, she asks Franklin to help her move her things. After moving her in, they begin to talk and he asks her who is helping her unpack and get settled in; she replies by saying no one is helping her. Franklin offers to help and, although skeptical, Zora eventually takes his offer and they agree to meet the next evening.

Franklin gets temporarily laid off from his renovation job and stands Zora up. Once she realizes he is not coming, she goes out for Chinese take-out and finally catches up to Franklin, who apologizes for not showing. Zora dismisses him, stating that he was the one who offered and she can do the work herself. Franklin then offers to help her now and jokes about sharing her take-out food. After they unpack some of her boxes, they get acquainted and Franklin shares his aspirations to become a licensed contractor so he can renovate brownstones. Zora encourages him and the two make plans to have dinner at a later time, after Zora gets more settled.

While out at happy hour with girlfriends Portia (Regina Hall) and Claudette (Lisa Arrindell Anderson), Zora tells her friends about Franklin and is criticized by Portia for dating men who are unable to support her financially. Zora responds that she has had her time dating "suit and tie brothers".

Later while Zora is walking home, she finds Franklin waiting for her on the stoop and chastises him for coming by without warning. Franklin says he was waiting for her because he wanted to see her. Zora invites Franklin inside. Now in her apartment, Zora goes to get Franklin a drink and then he begins to caress her while she's still at the fridge. Realizing they cannot hide their mutual attraction, Franklin proceeds to perform cunnilingus on Zora. Later, the couple, now in bed, talk of their dreams and aspirations; Zora wants to become a singer and Franklin wants to get his contracting business off the ground. Both confess that they were putting off love until they got themselves together. Franklin then tells Zora that he is not a wealthy man. Zora reassures him, stating that she is not looking for a rich man.

The two began their courtship and spend a lot of time together eating home cooked meals, playing Scrabble, and watching television. While getting a drink with his friend Jimmy (Clark Johnson), Franklin expresses that he likes Zora because she listens and they talk more than have sex. Jimmy then repays a loan that Franklin had made him. Franklin uses part of the money to get Zora's piano out of layaway. Zora then auditions for up-and-coming producer Reggie Baptiste (Q-Tip), and gets cut a deal to do a six-song demo with him.

Franklin and Zora have dinner together and he confesses that he dropped out of high school in the eleventh grade, never earning a GED. He also tells her that although separated for the last four years, he is still married with two sons. Zora doesn't take the news well and Franklin accuses her of caring more about "degrees and dollars" than their relationship.

The next day, Zora finds Franklin at work and admits that she would not have gotten involved with him had she known the truth about him earlier. She then confides that she loves him and asks him to move in with her, expressing the desire to meet his children. In return, he tells her he loves her and promises that as soon as he gets the money he will get the divorce.

Zora meets Franklin's sons, Marcus (Dequan Henderson) and Tyree (Fernando Phifer Cameron), and while the younger Tyree warms up to Zora quickly after she teaches him some notes on her piano, Marcus is not so welcoming to her. Despite all the obstacles, the couple continue to fall deeper in love, but things come to a head when Zora suffers an epileptic seizure while sleeping. The next morning when confronted by Franklin on why he never knew of her condition, she says she didn't want to scare him off and didn't know how he would handle it. Franklin reassures her that will it take more than that to get him to walk away.

A while later, she gets pregnant. She wants an abortion since she doesn't think the time is right. But he convinces her to keep the baby, and nine months later - she gives birth to a healthy baby boy named Jeremiah. Though she genuinely loves her new son, Zora still is discontent with the idea of being a mother so early.


Awards and nominations[edit]

2002 NAACP Image Awards

  • Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special

See also[edit]

External links[edit]