Love Come Down (2000) from Tuna and Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

"Love Come Down (2000) is the gripping tale of two brothers in their early 20s, one black, one white, each the other's keeper since their family was torn apart by a decade old tragedy. Neville, played by Larenz Tate, is a comedian struggling with his comedy, and his brother, Matthew, played by Martin Cummins, is a boxer consumed with the pleasure and pain of his skin. Neville becomes enchanted with Niko (Deborah Cox), a beguiling young singer who becomes entangled with him on his journey of self-discovery. With the support of their long-time friend Julian (Rainbow Sun Francks), and Sister Sarah (Sarah Polley), a nun with a past, Neville and Matthew come to understand love in all its forms."


The only exposure was provided by Naomi Gaskin as Matthew's girlfriend, who shows a magnificent pair of breasts.

(Scoop notes: her face is fine as well!)

(Summary written by Conquering Lion Productions/FilmWorks)

IMDB chose to use the plot summary written by the production company, probably because it is so well done. I included it for the same reason. This is a unique film in many ways. First, the narrative structure is not linear, but jumps freely from distant past, to present, to near past. I sometimes had trouble figuring out near past vs. present, but not for long, and that might have been intentional. So the distant past portion explains the relationship between Neville and Mathew, and the dark family secret they share. The present has Neville trying to stay clean after rehab, and break into comedy. The near past shows the relationship dynamic between Neville and his brother, and Neville and his lady Niko. Niko also has a past.

If character development is your thing, this is "the film." By the time it is over, you know exactly who everyone is, and why, and once more, you care about them. It was also interesting to me that the entire cast was portrayed as people, rather than as white, black, and children of mixed marriages.  

Scoop's thoughts:

They spent zero on this film, but it is an excellent illustration of the concept that a worthwhile film doesn't need much more than good characters in an interesting script. Each of the two main stars in a love connection (the female singer and the aspiring comedian) has a deep, dark family secret, and those secrets come out as the film evolves. By couching the film's development in this structure, the director manages to layer in an element of plot - kind of a psychological mini-mystery - on top of the character development.

One of the family secrets (the singer's real father and mother) completely fooled me, and pleased me with its cleverness and appropriateness. Although the secret in the comedian's family was completely obvious from the beginning, both secrets effectively explained elements which had previously been confusing or mysterious.

It seems to me that former child star Larenz Tate has what it takes to become an acting star. He certainly presented a loveable, troubled, insecure, and very complex real man in this role. You really root for this guy to get the girl.

The Critics Vote

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The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDB readers say 7.8/10.


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a B. Even if you don't like character driven drama, you might well enjoy this one. By the time it is over, you will be charmed by the romance, warmed by some of the relationships, and surprised at the ending. (Scoop says: Yeah, B or B- maybe. The film is not without flaws, but it works because the main characters are likeable, and because the psychological mystery is interesting.)

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