Loving Jezebel

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Loving Jezebel
Loving Jezebel poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKwyn Bader
Written byKwyn Bader
Produced byDavid Lancaster
Starring
CinematographyHoracio Marquínez
Edited byTom McArdle
Music byTony Prendatt
Production
companies
BET
Lancaster Productions
Starz! Encore Entertainment
Distributed byUniversal Focus
Release dates
  • August 5, 1999 (1999-08-05) (Urbanworld Film Festival)
  • October 27, 2000 (2000-10-27) (United States)
Running time
87 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Box office$72,190[1]

Loving Jezebel is a 1999 American comedy film written and directed by Kwyn Bader. The film stars Hill Harper, David Moscow, Laurel Holloman, Nicole Ari Parker, Sandrine Holt, Phylicia Rashad, Elisa Donovan and Lysa Aya Trenier. The film was released on October 27, 2000, by Universal Focus.

Cast[edit]

  • Hill Harper as Theodorous
  • David Moscow as Gabe
  • Laurel Holloman as Samantha
  • Nicole Ari Parker as Frances
  • Sandrine Holt as Mona
  • Lysa Aya Trenier as June
  • Andre B. Blake as Necco
  • Jean-Christophe Emo as Francois
  • Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. as Walter
  • John Doman as Pop Melville
  • Phylicia Rashad as Alice Melville
  • Justin Pierre Edmund as Little Theodorous
  • Elisa Donovan as Salli
  • Heather Gottlieb as Nina Clarise
  • Diandra Newlin as Nikki Noodleman
  • Faith Geer as Mrs. Harp
  • Barry Yourgrau as Mr. Leone
  • Eugene Ashe as Man in Car
  • Makeda Christodoulos as Israeli Girl
  • Abigail Revasch as Israeli Girl
  • Judah Domke as Customer
  • Jason Hefter as Customer
  • Gregory Grove as Waiter
  • Angel Brown as Rita
  • Ray Frazier as Skip
  • Crystal Rose as Beth
  • Johnny X Rook as Steve

Plot[edit]

Loving Jezebel is a film narrated in the first person by its lead character Theodorus Melville, as played by Hill Harper. It tells the story of a young man who comes of age through his romantic misadventures. Roger Ebert wrote that the "movie is not quite what you'd expect. Within its romantic comedy we find a character who is articulate and a little poignant ..."[2] Theodorus doesn't seek out other men's women so much as fall for them as they step outside their relationships to get from him what they can't seem to get from their boyfriends ... tenderness, an open heart and a willing ear.

As the film nears its conclusion, Theodorus comes to a realization about the true nature of the women whose attentions have defined him: "One night I had a dream that they all came to visit me and I asked them what they needed and each one whispered the same thing in my ear. 'I needed you to love the parts of me that nobody else did.' And I loved them so much they healed and then didn't need me anymore. The only one who's whisper was inaudible, whose message I could never understand, was Nikki Noodleman whose motives remain forever a mystery. Maybe if I had known her, my life would have turned out better. None loved me back until Samantha. Her kiss was the one I'd longed for in pre-school and her touch revealed that these women were the beacons of all that was worth knowing in the universe. History called them Jezebel but I called them love."

Development[edit]

The screenplay for the film was written independently by writer/director Bader in his New York apartment on 86th Street and Broadway, its title inspired by the Sade song Jezebel, which Bader was playing the night he started typing the screenplay. When he heard her lyric, "Jezebel wasn't born with a silver spoon in her mouth/She probably had less than every one of us/But when she knew how to walk she knew/How to bring the house down" [3] he knew he'd found the shared quality of the women he was writing about.

With Nicole Ari Parker as the first actor attached to the script and David Lancaster taking on the role of producer, rights to the screenplay were acquired in 1998 by Starz! Encore at the International Film Financing Conference (IFFCON) in San Francisco, CA, where the screenplay had been selected for inclusion as one of the best independent screenplays in the United States that year.

Reception[edit]

Loving Jezebel won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film at the 1999 South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Festival in Austin, Texas.

The film, which was shot on location in New York City, received a favorable review from New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell on its theatrical release. In the October 27, 2000 edition of the Times, Mitchell wrote, "It's hard to dislike a romantic comedy that's infatuated with the concept of love ... "Loving Jezebel becomes a good-natured boys' version of She's Gotta Have It, Spike Lee's first feature. Like that film, this one feels as if it comes out of a world close to the director's heart, with its biracial hero stumbling into coupling with women of all races and refusing to make a big deal of any of this, a totally modern gesture in today's dreamy Manhattan, where anything is possible"[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Loving Jezebel (2000)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
  2. ^ "Loving Jezebel movie review & film summary (2000) | Roger Ebert".
  3. ^ "Sade – Jezebel".
  4. ^ Mitchell, Elvis (27 October 2000). "FILM REVIEW; A Guy in Love with Love Keeps Seeking Ms. Right". The New York Times.

External links[edit]