Nappily Ever After

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Nappily Ever After
Nappily Ever After.png
Film poster
Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour
Produced by
Written by
Screenplay by
  • Adam Brooks
Based on Nappily Ever After
by Trisha R. Thomas
Music by Lesley Barber
Cinematography Alar Kivilo
  • Netflix
  • Marc Platt Productions
  • Badabing Pictures
Distributed by Netflix
Release date
  • September 21, 2018 (2018-09-21) (United States)
Country United States
Language English

Nappily Ever After is a 2018 American romantic comedy film directed by Haifaa al-Mansour and written by Adam Brooks and Cee Marcellus. It is based on the novel of the same name by Trisha R. Thomas. The film stars Sanaa Lathan, Ernie Hudson, Lyriq Bent, Lynn Whitfield, Ricky Whittle, and Camille Guaty.

The film was released on September 21, 2018, by Netflix.


A young, black woman, Violet (Sanaa Lathan), has a seemingly perfect life: she is successful in her job as an advertising executive, has been with her boyfriend Clint (Ricky Whittle), a doctor, for two years, and has perfect long straight hair, despite the effort it takes to maintain. Violet shares a close relationship with her mother (Lynn Whitfield) who has always attempted to keep Violet the vision of perfection. She and Violet's father (Ernie Hudson) recently became estranged after he quit his job to pursue modeling. Violet expects Clint to propose on her birthday, and after getting sprayed by the neighbor's house, visits a salon to attempt to get her hair fixed. The salonist makes a mistake however, and gives her relaxer instead of conditioner, causing her hair to begin to fall out. Violet causes a scene, insulting the owner of salon's daughter's afro, and then buys a wig to cover her head.

Violet is sorrowfully disappointed when Clint doesn't propose, and instead gifts her a dog. She confronts him, only leading to a break up, with him telling her that he feels as if he doesn't know her since she is always trying to be perfect. Violet tries out blonde hair, but has a disastrous night out with her friends, and goes to visit Clint, only to find him with a new woman. She is devastated, and shaves her head.

Initially horrified with what she has done, Violet cries in the bathroom at work. A woman in the bathroom suggests she come to her support group. Violet attends the group only to discover it is a cancer support group. violet apologizes, but the group leader gives her words of support. She grows in confidence in her new look. She begins dating the owner of the hair salon, Will (Lyriq Bent), and befriends his young daughter, Zoe (Daria Johns). The two quickly grow close, and he attends her mother's Fourth of July party, only to be disrespected by Paulette, who makes condescending comments about Will and his career choice. Will breaks up with her following this, and tells Violet to "get herself sorted." After Violet loses a pitch for an ad campaign using real women to a male colleague's standard idea using blonde models, she quits her job.

When returning to get some of his stuff from the house, Clint apologizes for ever making Violet feel like there was something wrong with her and proudly claims he wishes he had fought for her, and the two reconcile. He proposes the next morning, and the pair plan to marry in three months. During this time, Violet maintains a close relationship with Zoe and invites her to the engagement party, which she is particularly nervous about because she will be meeting Clint's parents.

Before the party, Clint asks Violet if she can change her hair for the evening as "he needs everything to be perfect", something that clearly upsets her, but she agrees. At the engagement party, Clint's parents are cold, and Claudette is disturbed that Will's daughter is present. Violet goes inside to escape and is found by Clint and her parents where she reflects on how she wishes that she had the courage to not care about what other people thought of her. She confronts her mother for not defending her or encouraging her to be herself when she was a child. Reflecting on childhood memories of being prohibited to swim because of her mother's fear it would expose the true nature of her hair, she jumps in the pool in an act of self acceptance. She is joined by Zoe, other party guests, and her parents, who reconcile their relationship. Violet looks back to Clint who does not join her in the pool; she then turns and swims away.

Violet and Will are in a meeting with a company; Violet is pitching a campaign for Will's hair care products that seek to encourage women to see their natural hair as beautiful. Afterwards, Will says he is still salty at Violet so feels like he is using her. She replies she is using him too. Together they will change the world 'one head at a time'.

The movie ends with Violet walking confidently alone to the track Holy by Jamila Woods.



The romantic comedy project Nappily Ever After was previously in development by Universal Pictures in 2003, when the studio had Patricia Cardoso to direct the film adaptation of Trisha R. Thomas' novel of same name, and the script was written by Tina Gordon Chism which was later rewritten by Lisa Loomer.[8][9] Halle Berry was boarded to star in the film which had producers Berry and Marc Platt along with Vincent Cirrincione and Angela DeJoseph.[9]

On August 15, 2017, it was announced that the film was now developing by Netflix and Sanaa Lathan was cast to play the lead role, which Haifaa al-Mansour would direct from a screenplay by Adam Brooks and Cee Marcellus. Producers would be Platt, Tracey Bing, Jared Leboff, and Lathan.[1] Ernie Hudson also joined the film to play Violet Jones' (Lathan) father Richard.[2] In August 2017, Lynn Whitfield had joined the film to play Violet's mother, Paulette.[4] In September 2017, more cast was announced which included Ricky Whittle as Clint, a doctor from London who has a long-term relationship with Violet; Lyriq Bent to play Will Wright, a hair stylist and salon owner who starts a new relationship with Violet; and Camille Guaty also joined the film to play Wendy, one of Violet's best friends.[5][3][6] On September 11, 2017, Brittany S. Hall was cast in the film to play one of Violet's best friends.[7]

Principal photography on the film began on August 28, 2017 in Atlanta.[5] Lathan shaved her head for her role in the film.[10][11]


The film was released on September 21, 2018.[12]


  1. ^ a b Kroll, Justin (August 15, 2017). "Sanaa Lathan to Star in Netflix Adaptation of 'Nappily Ever After'". Variety. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c N'Duka, Amanda (August 15, 2017). "Sanaa Lathan, Ernie Hudson Cast In Netflix Film 'Nappily Ever After'". Deadline. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Patten, Dominic (September 7, 2017). "Netflix's 'Nappily Ever After' Adds 'She's Got Have It's Lyriq Bent To Core Cast". Deadline. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  4. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (August 21, 2017). "Lynn Whitfield Joins Sanaa Lathan In 'Nappily Ever After'". Deadline. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Patten, Dominic (September 6, 2017). "'American Gods' Ricky Whittle Joins Netflix Pic 'Nappily Ever After'". Deadline. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  6. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (September 8, 2017). "Camille Guaty Joins 'Nappily Ever After'; 'Boy Erased' Adds Madelyn Cline; Mark O'Brien Cast In 'How It Ends'". Deadline. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b N'Duka, Amanda (September 11, 2017). "Netflix Film 'Nappily Ever After' Adds Brittany S. Hall; Isabel Arraiza Cast In 'Driven'". Deadline. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  8. ^ B., Brian (October 8, 2003). "Patricia Cardoso helms NAPPILY EVER AFTER". MovieWeb. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  9. ^ a b B., Brian (September 8, 2004). "Lisa Loomer penning Nappily Ever After". MovieWeb. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Dupre, Elyse (September 6, 2017). "Sanaa Lathan Shaves Her Head for Nappily Ever After Role". E! Online. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  11. ^ Augustin, Camille (September 6, 2017). "Sanaa Lathan Shaves Head For 'Nappily Ever After' Movie Role". Vibe. Retrieved September 6, 2017.
  12. ^ "Netflix Debuts Key Art for "Nappily Ever After"". The Futon Critic. July 20, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2018.

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