CAST: SANAA LATHAN, LYNN WHIFIELD, ERNIE HUDSON, RICKY WHITTLE, LYRIQ BENT AND DARIA JOHNS
DIRECTED BY: HAIFAA AL-MANSOUR
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
Since birth, Advertisement Executive, Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan) was taught to always care about her appearance which became an obsession with beauty perfection as she got older. As her birthday approaches, she’s expecting a marriage proposal from her longtime boyfriend. But when that doesn’t happen, it leaves her lost and trying to find her true self.
Instead of getting a ring for her birthday, her boyfriend of two years Clint (Ricky Whittle) buys the “perfect dog” for the “perfect woman”. Disappointed in how her birthday turns out, they have a huge argument where Clint expresses to Violet that her 24/7 perfection clouds who she really is. He expresses, “How can I marry you when I had to call your assistant to find out your favorite color or your favorite flowers.” Emotions rise and the two decide it’s best to call it quits. Constantly being told by her parents that she was perfect when her hair was done made Violet shallow to others and how she defined beauty. Having this burning question of what is perfect, she embarks on a new hair journey. The journey all started when her hair was conditioned with relaxer (perm). With her hair coming out in clumps there was one solution. WEAVE. Now with the weave, Violet decided not to cut it and go blond. Imagine an African American woman with blond locs and black roots. A MESS! The blond was working for Violet until one bad drunken night when she stood in front of her mirror and took a set of clippers and began shaving her head relentlessly. Shaving off her perfection made her free of the beauty chains. Shocked at what she had done to herself she called her father (Ernie Hudson) whose reaction was far better than her mother’s (Lynn Whitfield) as she fainted at the sight of her daughter’s new look.
Throughout the film, Violet develops a relationship with a young girl she witnessed stealing from a store. Instead of Zoe (Daria Johns) getting caught, Violet takes the blame. Apologetic for the trouble she caused Violet, Zoe mails her a letter that serves as an olive branch to their budding relationship. And like every turning point in every movie that mirrors this one, a new man, that just so happens to be Zoe’s dad, Will (Lyriq Bent) comes into Violet’s life.
Will makes Violet feel beautiful and has her feeling like a new woman. With a bald head, a new man, and new confidence Violet takes on new challenges at work that don’t involve beauty. Eventually as all men do, Clint slides his way back into Violet’s heart causing the predictable conflict of the film.
Nappily Ever After is a film that looks into the standards of beauty and shows women that they don’t have to define their beauty based on what others think is perfect. Hair that defined Violet for so long no longer was something to stress about which is the same reason why I cut my own hair. Be free and confident in the skin you’re in and never let anyone tell you that you aren’t perfect.
I rate the film 5 stars out of 10 stars due to its predictability and redundancy.