Is ‘The Photograph’ The New ‘Love Jones’? The Cast And Director Weigh In

Written by Jerry L. Barrow

Stella Meghie’s brand-new movie The Photograph catches love in all its diverse kinds covering time and range. The romantic drama stars Issa Rae and Lakeith Stanfield as 2 young specialists whose courses cross when a news article on anglers in New Orleans re-connects their severed bonds. As Stanfield, who plays ournalist Michael Block investigates his method into the life of museum manager Mae Morton (Rae), pheremones start to fly.

Shot on area in New York and Louisiana, The Photograph, catches our complex relationship with the still image. The ideal image can assist us to go beyond time, commemorating our finest selves, while at the same time advising us of our own death.

Mae and Michael’s budding love is anchored by the story of Mae’s late mom, Christina Eames, played by Chante Adams (“Roxanne, Roxanne”), and her love affair with a young New Orleans angler called Issac, played by Y’ Lan Noel (“Insecure”) The 2 stories are intertwined together effortlessly in Mehgie’s script and provided an amorous and touching gloss by cinematographer Mark Schwartzbard. Everything from the angles to the heavenly music (scored by Grammy Award winning pianist Robert Glasper) enables the movie to seem like a visual love letter to Black love– one that is brand-new, yet familiar, in all the very best methods.

(from left) LaKeith Stanfield, Issa Rae and writer/director Stella Meghie on the set of The Photograph.

Lakeith Stanfield, Issa Rae and Stella Meghie on the set of ‘The Photograph’

For numerous, the last time a Black love has actually felt this pure on the cinema remained in 1997’s Love Jones, a cinematic motivation for Meghie. She informed TIFF in 2019 that Theodore Witcher’s timeless is “canon” for her as a Black love and some aspects from that movie might have unconsciously made their method into The Photograph.

“Some of it is coincidental and some of it is intrinsic because I’ve seen that movie so many times,” she states with a laugh when specific resemblances in between the movies are mentioned, (like the particular male leads– both authors– trying to seduce their females with some traditional Al Green.)

“That stuff is kind of in you and in the fabric or what you love about film. And it shows itself in things you make.”

In one flashback scene Christina is on a task interview and it harkens back to Nia Long’s character Nina Mosely having a really extreme exchange with an editor critiquing her photography. Adams, nevertheless, didn’t see the connection– at.

( L-R) Chante Adams as Christina in ‘The Photograph’ and Nia Long as Nina Mosely in ‘Love Jones’

“I wasn’t aware…I also hadn’t seen it before,” she exposed with a laugh. “But I viewed [Love Jones] later. After seeing it I resembled ‘Oh my God, the similarities are really beautiful.’”

Chicago native Lil Rel offers all props to the movie set in his house town, however firmly insists that The Photograph is still quite its own thing. For one, he and Teyonah Parris are a very practical couple in the movie as Michael’s bro and sister-in-law, Kyle and Asia.

“There’s so many layers to this,” states Rel. “We have different love stories happening along with different versions of what love is. I thought Stella did a good job of combining all of that in one movie.”

Regardless of the motivations (intentioned or no) Stanfield is positive that this story holds up by itself.

“I think it just substantiates the idea that love is timeless and ageless and faceless…environment less. It’s all that and nothing,” he states.” It’s all incorporating. Love is gon na be age old no matter what you package it in. We simply have this lovely bundle called The Photograph

The Photograph remains in theaters February 14.

Photo Credit: Nia Long Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.
‘ The Photograph’ images thanks to Universal Studios