The track record for African-American romance comedies in the last couple of years has been impeccable. Just look at the long list of successes, such as "The Wood," "The Best Man," "The Brothers" and "Love and Basketball," many of which contain the same young, rising actors. Unfortunately, even though the latest black romance comedy stars Taye Diggs ("The Best Man") and Sanaa Lathan ("Love and Basketball"), "Brown Sugar" does not live up to expectations.
"Brown Sugar" is about a record executive (Diggs) who has just gotten married. He's at the top of his game. The movie is also about a successful hip-hop newspaper editor (Lathan) who has just become engaged. There's only one problem: The two are childhood friends and [not so] secretly in love with each other, but neither are willing to confront their obvious feelings.
The central plot, essentially, is almost identical to that of "Love and Basketball," where two basketball players that have known each other since childhood finally admit they are in love with each other. Unfortunately, that is about the only thing that is similar, because "Brown Sugar" isn't funny, isn't very dramatic, and is just plain boring. Its few jokes here and there do not carry the audience through nearly two hours of sexual tension.
The quality of "Brown Sugar" isn't bad, and neither is the acting. The problem is that the script isn't very funny when it could have been, without losing any of the more sentimental ideas of its theme. I was expecting a laugh-out-loud comedy along the lines of those films mentioned above, which all dealt with love and marriage seriously but at the same time were hilarious. "Brown Sugar" just isn't that.
"Brown Sugar" suffers only from one thing, and that is a lack of personality. A little more flair and comedy would have made this otherwise decent movie a lot better.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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