By Andrea Lee
The new Netflix romantic comedy “Nappily Ever After,” based on the novel of the same name written by Trisha R. Thomas. Directed by Haifaa al-Mansour, it is a story that displays the struggle of being a black woman in a world that holds them to unrealistic beauty standards.
The movie follows the life of Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan), an advertising executive that has been chained to the idea that the only way she can be happy is to be perfect her entire life. She goes to great lengths to keep this charade going like having her mother come to her home at 5 a.m. to flat iron her hair and do her makeup before her boyfriend wakes up.
When her boyfriend gives her a dog instead of an engagement ring, leaving her birthday ending with a breakup, it sends her down a path riddled with new hairstyles and failed attempts at rebounding. Fed up and tired of this facade, Jones frees herself by unchaining the anchor that has been holding her down her whole life: her hair.
With her hair gone, a new romance and a spunky 10-year-old giving her a new perspective, Jones opens a chapter in her new imperfect life.
The movie has charming characters, a theme all black woman can relate to and the perfect soundtrack. The real star of this film is the soundtrack with songs like ‘No Good’ by Eryn Allen Kane and ‘Ghost’ by Lianne La Havas. Throughout this movie, the soundtrack will have you dancing one second and crying the next. This film is jam-packed with female empowerment anthems that make you want to take over the world. Young actress Daria Jones steals every scene she is in. She has an energy in this film that really captivates the audience making her one of the best parts of the movie. The overall theme of this movie is self-love and that black hair is beautiful. Black women in America often struggle with their sense of self since the beauty standards in this country do not match what they are seeing in the mirror.
Although this film has the perfect message it still has its flaws. It only shows the negatives black women can face with their hair and not how their hair can be the perfect form of self-expression. Instead of delving deeper into the main character, the film only shows her on a surface level.
Her love story lacks depth and emotion making it harder to root for them in the end. The movie only shows its characters on the surface level and never really shows them struggling. When the couple the audience is supposed to root for argues, there is no reason to feel sad since their love on screen is so bland.
The movie also glosses over details and rushes its ending, causing it to be a good movie instead of a great one. Instead of showing even a montage of Violet reuniting with an old flame or even saying how much time has past they just show her with a ring in the next scene.
With an account of its 77 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, it looks like critics and audience an agreement, this new Netflix movie is good but not a standout.
3 out of 5 torches