Jean of the Joneses
|Jean of the Joneses|
|Directed by||Stella Meghie|
|Written by||Stella Meghie|
|Music by||Robi Botos|
|Edited by||Aren Hansen|
Circle Blue Films
|Distributed by||Search Engine Films|
Jean of the Joneses is a 2016 Canadian-American film written and directed by Stella Meghie in her directorial debut. The film, starring Taylour Paige as the eponymous Jean Jones, premiered at the 2016 SXSW Film Festival.
Jean Jones is a writer who comes from a family of Jamaican-American matriarchs. After her boyfriend tells her he needs space she moves out of his apartment and goes to dinner at her grandmother's house. Just as the family is about to sit down to dinner the doorbell rings and Jean goes to answer it. It is a man, who abruptly dies after asking for Jean's grandmother. While Jean goes with him to the hospital, she is hit on by Ray, the ambulance EMT. The dead man's things reveal he is Gordan Jones and after confronting her family, Jean learns that he is her estranged grandfather.
Jean goes to live with her aunt, Anne, a nurse who was having an affair with a married doctor and confides to Jean that she is pregnant with his child. Jean is a poor houseguest, leading Anne to kick her out. Jean goes to stay with her strict mother, Maureen. Maureen is critical of Jean's failure as an author, working as a waitress after using up the advance of her last book, while also critical of her daughter's budding relationship with Ray. Jean manages to convince Maureen to claim Gordan's body and throw him a funeral, but after Maureen asks Jean when she is moving back with her boyfriend, Jean moves out and goes to live with her aunt Janet.
While at Janet's, Jean discovers that Janet is separated from her husband and that she has a secret aunt Laura, from her father's relationship with another woman. Talking to Laura, Jean learns that Laura was a baby when Gordan left her mother, then inadvertently divulges that Gordan died, something Laura had no idea about.
At Gordan's wake Jean confronts her family. She reveals to her aunts that her grandmother always knew that their father was still living nearby in Harlem and lied about him returning to Jamaica. She also reveals her discovery that grandmother has boyfriend, which her aunts realize is her mother's decades-long boyfriend. She also invites Ray, who reveals that he read her book of short stories and asks her if she truly believes she is destined to end up single and alone, telling her that to do so would be a choice, not her fate.
Jean goes to her old boyfriend, Jeremiah who tells her that they are over for good. With nowhere to go and having used up all the goodwill from her family, Jean goes to Gordan's home where she discovers that he was a recorded jazz musician, that he followed her writing career and unearths his will.
At Gordan's funeral Jean reads out a statement from his will where he apologized for being a terrible father and abandoning his children.
After hearing what their father said, the Jones women begin to heal. Maureen tells Jean she loves her, Anne decides to keep her baby and Janet, still separated from her husband, works towards co-parenting peacefully with him. After it turns out that Gordan left his home to Jean's grandmother, she decides to let Jean stay there if she pays rent.
Meanwhile, Jean helps to publish Gordan's memoirs, which she also discovered as part of his estate and writes the foreword. With her life back on track she goes to Ray's school where he is studying nursing and asks him to be with her.
- Taylour Paige as Jean Jones
- Sherri Shepherd as Maureen, Jean's mother
- Erica Ash as Anne, Jean's aunt
- Michelle Hurst as Daphne, Jean's grandmother
- Gloria Reuben as Janet, Jean's aunt
- Mamoudou Athie as Ray
- Cara Ricketts as Laura, Jean's newly discovered half-aunt