Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Confused ... by Love [2015]

MPAA (UR would be PG-13)  Fr. Dennis (2 3/4 Stars)

IMDb listing

Confused ... by Love [2015] (written and directed by Crosby Tatum) is a small, simple and at times quite poignant African American dramedy that played recently at the 2016 (22nd) Black Harvest Film Festival held at the Gene Siskel Film Center in Chicago.

It's about two college educated late 20-early 30-something couples -- Ferguson and Tiffany Marie Middlebecker (played by Keith Mascol and Jamie Perez) and Reggie Maxwell and Joline 'Jo Jo' Thompson (played by Simba Dibinga and Jordon Lloyd) -- African American, who honestly had trouble believing that they were still (or possibly returning to) the straits that they were in.  All of them knew poverty, _real_ poverty, when they were growing-up.  And all of them believed that their college degrees would have lifted them out of it.  And yet to their horror, they were _all_ staring at failure and being thrown out _onto the street_ ... again.

Yes, no doubt. that pretty much all of them had made some bad decisions, some worse than others:

Ferguson a writer, _may_ have procrastinated with his current manuscript, perhaps blaming it too much on writers' block (though it does happen).

Tiffany Marie, his wife, who _had_ spent time as a child literally on the streets _homeless_, now a "radio personality" on some local radio station, had been something of a spendthrift (even as Furgeson was _not really writing_ ...)

Reggie saw himself as "an entrepreneur" and had been taking all kinds of chances "in the media business" -- movies, records, commercials, radio sound spots, whatever -- doing _anything_ to keep afloat and (perhaps) scrape ahead, including having stolen a story from Ferguson a few years back that he had converted into a successful credit on some film (without acknowledging that the idea had come from Ferguson).

Jo Jo was probably the most sensible of them all, but she had been Ferguson's girlfriend "back in college" before breaking-up for reasons unclear and ... was now returning into Ferguson's world ... by Reggie's side (who already wasn't necessarily in Ferguson's best graces because of the "stolen story" affair).

Yet now they all needed each other especially Ferguson and Tiffany Marie who stood to lose their house.

Again, this is a _very simple story_ ... but there is a _lot of pain_ and a _lot of painful truth_ being faced.  So while this is a film that will often make you laugh, it will also make you cry.

Honestly a pretty good job for a "small indie film" ;-)

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