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Posted under: Opinion

‘Malcolm & Marie’: The Black Love Story Many Of Us Didn’t Embrace

To be in a relationship, whether it's good or bad, you expose yourself to another.

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When I first saw the trailer for Malcolm & Marie, I thought to myself, "Yes! Another movie about Black love."  It was going to be released on Netflix, which was even better because I keep my Netflix connect on deck.

Finally it comes out and is nothing close to what I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a romantic love story and instead I got Malcolm & Marie. It's that simple. People wanted a reason to fantasize about falling in love. Instead, we got two people who clearly had cracks in their relationship, but also cracks within themselves.

We all sat in front of our TVs, mobile phones or computer screens and watched a movie depicting two people exposing the brokenness, and wholeness, of their significant other. I'm not sure if everyone can relate to the exact storyline of being a filmmaker dating a recovering drug addict/model/actress, but I know a lot of people can relate to being in love. I also know a lot of people can recall a time when they probably were in love for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes the reason is simply because we want to rescue the person that we love from themselves. It's like getting on a neverending rollercoaster — even though you're afraid of heights — just to have the person you love not acknowledge that you only got on it because of them.

To be in a relationship, whether it's good or bad, you expose yourself to another. And if you haven't experienced healing of self, your own reflection will appear toxic. Inviting someone into your life is allowing them to see the cracks within you. And whether big or small, those cracks will appear real ugly. The problem in a lot of relationships is that we try real hard to disguise those cracks, until those cracks shatter. Do I think Malcolm & Marie was a movie about two individuals that were toxic to one another? Yes. Do I think it's a false depiction of love? No.

I think a lot of us have experienced toxicity at some point. The only difference is we probably tolerated it long enough for the problem to simply be non-existence, or we lied to ourselves about being in a toxic relationship. We are the generation that don't stick around long enough to see what happens past a night like this. I believe if you're able to see past the movie being about arguing, music and politics, you'll discover that the movie is simply about two people finally making room for authentic conversation, which is more than a lot of people can say they make room for.

Now this doesn't mean we should glorify feeling emotionally abused or cheated on, or to stay with someone who isn't making you happy. I most definitely don't think Malcolm and Marie are relationship goals. But I think this movie depicts the reality that not all relationships make the perfect love story, but it is a story that's not put on film enough.

The truth behind why most people don't like Malcolm & Marie is because they appreciate love movies that don't force them to look deep inside themselves, to question the ugly that they might have.

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A Brooklyn born, black writer.