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On this day 20 years ago, Love Jones was released in theaters. And while it didn’t necessarily make a big splash at the box office (it pulled in just over $12 million worldwide), it has since become a cult film of sorts, a classic Black love story that people still watch religiously (I check it out both on BET anytime it comes on and via the DVD copy I own). We shared some of the behind-the-scenes secrets a few years ago, and the film was just celebrated at the American Black Film Festival Honors.

Love Jones 20th anniversary

In honor of the 20th anniversary, Los Angeles Times writer Trevell Anderson talked to the cast and those behind the film, including writer/director Theodore Witcher and producers, for a piece called “With ‘Love Jones,’ black love took center stage: An oral history.” They talked about what it took to get the film made and what it means to the culture two decades later. Here are some very interesting things you probably didn’t know that they shared about Love Jones. 


It All Started With a Popular Poetry Club

According to Witcher, a popular poetry club many burgeoning artists used to visit in Chicago in the early ’90s inspired him to develop Darius and Nina’s love story.

There was this one [poetry] club in Chicago that we all used to go to, called Spices. I thought that was an interesting backdrop onto which I could layer this story of a twentysomething’s relationship. It had never occurred to me that the movie would get made, quite frankly, because it just seemed so small and niche, even for black people. It just seemed so outside of what Hollywood was making at the time.

It was just this idea I had until I came upon an executive who was at New Line, Helena Echegoyen. With her encouragement, I sat down in my little apartment in Koreatown, with no lights and no windows that pointed outside, for about nine months and wrote this script. When I gave it to her, she saw the potential of it and was, like, “We’re getting this made.”

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