Black Movies You Should Be Watching: Hav Plenty
By: Eric Lewis
I am what most consider a movie junkie. I am significantly tied to all genres of movies. From comedies to art house movies, short films to epic anime, I’ve seen thousands of them. It is what sparked a significant interest in filmmaking. That is why I create short films and narrative podcasts. I love the idea of telling compelling stories, and I love sharing my passion of movies with people.
I also think it is a complete travesty when people miss out on movies that may not have gotten a lot of public press or fell under the radar. Hence, the reason you are reading this today. I would like to share with you some movies I feel you should be watching. Whether new or old, fresh or vintage, I will provide some of these “missed” movies so you can check them out...starting with the 20 year old gem, Hav Plenty.
When it comes to unrequited love, it is a bummer. A serious bummer. Having the thought of someone you have these strong feelings for and it not be reciprocated. Yeah, it sucks. Such the case is explored in pretty and painstaking detail with Hav Plenty. Released in 1998, it was somewhat overlooked by big name releases like Deep Impact and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. What’s fascinating about this movie is the way it was shot. It has a certain level of realism in the filming...almost like the entire movie was shot impromptu.
It was written and directed by Chris Cherot. He’s been on record saying the story is based loosely on a previous relationship with a Def Jam executive at the time. It stars Chris as Lee Plenty, Chenoa Maxwell as Havilland Savage and Hill Harper as Michael Simmons. Lee is a struggling novelist that lives in his car and house hops between friends and his mom. Havilland is a well-to-do friend of Lee that decides to invite him to her family home for New Year’s Eve. They are accompanied by Havilland’s sister Leigh, Her husband Felix and Hav’s friend Caroline. In the beginning, it’s apparent Lee’s feelings are pretty strong for Hav and it becomes more obvious through the course of the movie. She is, however, just getting over a serious breakup with her recording artist boyfriend, Michael. Not to mention she’s seriously conceited and controlling.
Throughout the movie, there are more romantic sparks that ignite including Leigh, Caroline and even Hav. I’m not going to give too much of the movie away, but it is definitely a must watch. It’s a great romantic comedy with some real funny parts, and it’s just in time for the New Year! It’s available on Starz (with a subscription) and Amazon Prime. Oh yeah, one last thing. The Hav Plenty Soundtrack is pretty badass too. It compliments the movie extremely well. Produced by Babyface, it has Faith Evans, SWV, John B, Erykah Badu and others. It’s available on YouTube Music, Spotify and other platforms.
If you’ve seen this movie and would like to give your opinion on it, or if you have another movie I feel you should watch, be sure to hit me up @TheTmPLife on Twitter and IG!