We’ve Got Jungle Fever: The Best On-Screen Interracial Romances
Remember when interracial relationships were taboo? Now Meagan Good is booed up with Will Ferrell and the president is booed up with a black woman. Hollywood has come a long way. And these characters helped pave the way. Let’s take a look at some of the on-screen interracial relationships that we remember most — and some that slipped under our radar.
Meagan Good & Will Ferrell
Olivia Pope and Fitz
Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn have ridiculously steamy on-screen chemistry. They’ve been giving us mixed emotions about extra-marital affairs since 2012. But what we love most about this interracial romance is that it’s about two real, flawed people instead of a pair of stereotypes acting out race relations on screen.
Toni Childs and Todd Garrett
We loved Todd and Toni because they proved that trifling knows no color lines. Their relationship problems had nothing to do with race and everything to do with Toni’s diva-tude. The writers kept this relationship all the way real and we know a few divas who put their antics on pause after learning their lesson from Toni and Todd.
Tom and Helen Willis
Tom (Franklin Cover) and Helen (Roxie Roker) paved the way for interracial relationships on and off screen. Roxie Roker was in an interracial relationship in real life with her husband Sy Kravitz. Together they broke down racial barriers and gave the world Lenny Kravitz: a beautiful man (who’s also a pretty good musician).
Black Thought and Karen Starc
Solomon (Black Thought) and Sara (Karen Starc) shared a love story for the ages. Brooklyn Babylon is a modern take on the story of King Solomon and Queen Sheeba that explores the darker side of the racial conflict between black people and Hassidic Jews in Brooklyn. This movie has a lot to teach about the history of race relations, particularly with The Roots on the soundtrack and Black Thought as sex appeal personified. We recommend putting this on your must-watch list if you haven’t checked it out already.
Flipper Purify and Angie Tucci
“I’ve got jungle fe-vah, she’s got jungle fe-vah”…” No list about interracial relationships would be complete without Jungle Fever. Spike made this classic in 1991 when race relations were still kind of dicey. We know a few people who watched this movie again when they were considering dating outside of the team.
Schmidt and Cece
Schmidt and Cece prove that we’ve come far enough to stop taking interracial relationships so seriously. Schmidt is a Jewish boy and Cece is an Indian girl who fall in lust, then in love, then almost lose it all to an arranged marriage. They’re sweet and funny and one of the reasons we’ll be tuning in to New Girl next season.
Brad and Jane Williams
Speaking of interracial comedy, these two may be the funniest married couple on TV. Black, white, brown or purple, we could all use a little of Brad and Jane’s chemistry in our own relationships. They’re the couple we all want to be when we grow up. And they definitely help make Happy Endings worth a watch.
John Prentice and Joey Drayton
There are lots of reasons to love Sidney Poitier and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” is one of them. It does a great job of spotlighting people who say they have liberal values — until they’re put to the test. It’s probably the best commentary on race relations ever made. We highly recommend putting this on your must-watch list too. It’s so much better than the remake “Guess Who”.
We never get tired of watching Ray Liotta and Whoopi Goldberg fall in love. This is a great family movie that teaches that real love is color blind. It deals with prejudice, love, and loss in a real way while keeping everyone laughing. So pop in the DVD and watch it with the family.
Monster’s Ball is as hauntingly powerful today as it was when it came out in 2001. Billy Bob Thornton plays a racist prison guard who finds himself in Halle Berry’s arms. It’s about race, grief and getting up when you thought you couldn’t go on. It’s so good it won Halle the Oscar and it’s about time we all watched it again.
Simon and Alisha
Misfits is a great British show about a group of teens who find out that they have super powers while serving community service. At the center of the show is Simon and Alisha’s love story that we bet you can’t watch without tearing up. They’re destined to be together and they don’t let race, time or evil super villains get in their way. It’s also one of the funniest shows on TV. We highly recommend checking it out on Netflix.
Darnell and Joy
This is our favorite hood couple from My Name is Earl. We all know a hood brother and a redneck who just belong together. You can’t help but smile when watching Joy and The Crab Man love, bicker and fight. It’s trailer park love at it’s very best.
The Cheerios Couple
There are plenty of interracial couples on the big and small screen, but race relations haven’t come as far as we like to think. The ad features a little girl and her black father and white mother. After it aired, it’s YouTube page received so many racist comments that they had to close down the comments section.
Jane and Calogero
“A Bronx Tale” is another great movie that focuses on race relations. Up-and-coming Italian gangster “C” falls head over heels for a black girl he sees on the bus. It’s love at first sight and he follows his heart even though it means losing his friends and his reputation. It’s another great love story that’s perfect for watching with your kids for a little lesson about love, race, right and wrong.