More often than not two people are brought together and fall in love through their unintentional love for something else. This holds true in the movies “Just Wright” directed by Sanaa Hamri and “Brown Sugar” directed by Rick Famuyiwa. Whether it be a love for basketball or a love for hip hop, the characters were brought together by their shared passion, music, and their strong friendship. In “Just Write” the love realization scene is obvious when Leslie and Scott sit down to play the piano together. Leslie’s dedication to helping Scott get his chance to recover from his injury and continue to stay a professional basketball player. It is Scott’s love for basketball that not only wills him to continue his rehab, but grow him closer to Leslie without exactly knowing it.
The piano duet scene’s mise en scene components that allude to it being the scene where they realize their love for each other are the soft lighting that is often seen as “sensual lighting“ because it is dark enough to soften someone’s facial features, but light enough to be able to see the person still, the romanticness of singing and playing piano together, and the closeness of the two characters to each other: Leslie tells Scott in this scene that “no matter what happens…you are still a champion” which is said with a tone that holds so much passion and truth behind it, it shows that she really believes in the words she is saying (Hamri). They play piano and sing together, with the music acting as the final connecting piece between them for the two characters to realize their love for each other. As Tani Sanchez states in her eBook “Understanding Black American Aspects in Hip w m Hop and Cinema, 111 Brown Sugar, hip hop starts as a vibrant part ofAndre and Sidney’s lives” and is eventually when brings them back together in the end.
While Sidney and Andre’s relationship is more complex than Scott and Leslies, since both either were married or were going to be married to other people, they are still reunited by starting a hip hop business together, bringing together their passion and childhood memory of when they fell in love with hip hop, as well as their love for each other. The scene where Sidney and Andre share a romantic moment has similar mise en scene traits with soft lighting and close quarters of the characters when they are shelving books. Andre says “I always knew deep down inside we were meant to be together” which triggers the mood of the scene to change from two friends hanging out to something more romantic (Famuyiwa). Author William Mernit writes that “we go into a romantic comedy already knowing that the characters are going to meet, lose and, ultimately, get each other.
So creating two unique characters…is an important key to such a movie’s success”. Mernit’s point holds true for both of these movies, which when compared, both tend to follow the same structure and hold the same mise en scene traits, yet are still different in their story lines and what the passion was that brought the characters together. As Sanchez notes the connecting piece of passion in romantic movies is almost like a “third character in the film” since it is so central to the reason why the two people got together or even met. In “Brown Sugar” this third character is symbolized by the characters love for hip»h0p that they discovered as children, and in “Just Wright” it is symbolized by the life of a basketball player and a physical trainer, yet even music is involved as a critical role because they are playing music in the scene when they realize their love for each other.
The larger love of blackness that is shown through this symbolization of music as a third character in these films is the ideal that the black American world has a strong connection to the different communities and people from the music they listen to Black Americans use music as a way to interpret situations and share their own emotions, which is why it was used in such important scenes of love in these two films. Overall, romantic movies hold different characters connected together by different things, but more often than not one of the central things connecting people is music and some passion they share. While it is not always obvious what this passion is, in the end it is what makes the people realize their love for each other and their desire to be together. The similar mise en scene and significance of music in Just Wright” directed by Sanaa Hamri and “Brown Sugar” directed by Rick Farnuyiwa Show this idea of a greater passion brining and music together characters in the end.