I enjoy watching movies about Black Love. Some of my favorite movies are “Why Did I Get Married?”, “Two Can Play that Game”, “Love and Basketball” and “Boomerang”. Wait…did I just say “Boomerang”? Yes, I did, and I just realized that this movie is now 25 years old! The movie came on over the Thanksgiving weekend and coincidentally, I just watched the Soul Train Awards during the same weekend and saw Toni Braxton win the Legend Award and yes, you guessed it…her first hit song was from the “Boomerang” Soundtrack, “Love Shoulda Brought You Home”.
I have watched“Boomerang” numerous times ( I actually have lost count) as the movie makes me laugh just as hard as I did the first time. Even 25 years later,“Boomerang” and its quotable scenes and lines are still remembered and acted out by fans (including me) who never get tired of seeing a player (Eddie Murphy) getting a taste of his own medicine (Robin Givens) in the funniest ways possible.
However, the last time I watched it, I decided to view it through an entirely different lens and here are my observations/takeaways:
1.“Boomerang” is a romantic comedy revolving around the lives of successful black people who happen to work for a successful black company. Speaking for many Black Professionals (including myself), we can relate to the experiences of being a Black professional in America whether it be in the Corporate, Government or Educational, etc. setting. (I believe most of us have dreamed of the “ideal” situation of working for a successful Black company, so for me personally, this added to my intrigue with the movie.)
2. The movie also showed scenes that dealt with the reality that black people deal with every day –regardless of their educational and financial status—Black people are confronted with racism (Subtle, Direct, Institutional) Although the movie is 25 years old, the scenes in the movie hit home. (I will not “go there” and discuss our current situation with #45)
3. The movie focused on the adventures (and misadventures) of Eddie Murphy’s character, a successful Advertisement Executive named Marcus Graham. There is no doubt he is a player when the movie opens and Marcus tells his assistant to send flowers to nine different women, with cards reading “only thinking of you”. (LOL, I have several men friends who have admitted to this same type of behavior)
4. When Marcus Meets Jacqueline (Robin Givens), he begins to fall in love with her but she is careless and inconsiderate about his feelings. They break up (after Marcus confronts Jacqueline about her carelessness) and we witness just how fragile the male ego is: Marcus is so distraught about their breakup, that his work suffers and he ruins a major business proposal and is ordered to take time off from work. (This is deep! We are seeing a man deal with his broken heart, although the movie went in a certain direction, we all know that a man’s behavior after a heartbreak can lead to many scenarios that can be even more destructive, especially to the women he may “use” to get over his broken heart)
5. Marcus begins a relationship with Angela (Halle Berry) a woman who genuinely cares for him and is committed to their relationship, however, Marcus is not quite over Jacqueline and well… we witness Marcus act recklessly (‘Love Shoulda Brought You Home”)
6. Of course at the end of the movie, Marcus and Angela (Halle Berry) get back together.
7. One more observation (I am playing fair here): We, unfortunately, do not see what happens to Jacqueline who is basically the female version of Marcus, we unfortunately only see her as a one dimensional character (she broke Marcus’ heart) so we do not know what experiences she has had before she met Marcus and even after Marcus realizes he is in love with Angela. (Ok, I admit, I was hoping for a Boomerang 2)
8. Why is this movie relevant even 25 years later? My one simple answer: all of us who are part of the KeepingIt100LA Movement are Keepers, folks who are Professionals who are about creating couples and community. Most of us have come across and even may have been in relationships with people like Marcus, Jacqueline, and Angela. All of us still believe in Black Love and were rooting for the ultimate ending of the movie.
Here is my question for the men: When Are Men (Especially Players like Marcus Graham) Really Ready to Commit? Does it take a “Boomerang” experience to turn things around?
I actually have surveyed a few men and what they shared with me is the following:
1. Very Similar to a previous Blog Subject, men know immediately if they can commit to you by the second date (please see the KeepingIt100 Blog (November 29, 2017).
2. Timing is a Key Factor ( It works differently for individual men depending upon a man’s experiences): Most women spend the greater part of their lives thinking of the qualities they would like in their man. I’m not saying they’re obsessed with it but women tend to have an idea of what they want in a man because they’ve been thinking about it longer than men have been thinking about what they want in a woman. Namely, because men spend about 3 – 12 months thinking about what they want. This is related to my first point: it’s usually when they’ve already found ‘The One.’ In other words, they begin asking themselves, “Can I see myself with THIS woman?” not “What kind of woman am I looking for?”
3. Regardless of his past, if he’s ready, he’s ready.
4. Peer Pressure: Sometimes, men are ready to commit when their close friends are committed and its no fun being the only single guy in the group. (Gentlemen, how many weddings have you attended in the last year? Were you the best man in any of them?)
5. Sometimes it does take a“Boomerang” experience to get a man focused on commitment, it may not happen exactly the way things happened in“Boomerang””, but a few men I asked did confess that there were different circumstances that led to them ending the “player” game. They experienced life altering experiences as follows: sudden job loss, the sudden death of a loved one, getting older and not wanting to be too old for kids, etc. One gentleman shared with me that when Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive, it was enough for him to settle down and he announced to me and everyone else that the next woman he met that he at least halfway got along with would be his wife. And indeed in his case, this ended up being exactly what he did. (SMILE)
So gentlemen, tell me if you agree or disagree, and if you have additional comments and ladies please feel free to chime in…