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A moving and uplifting drama about the effects of interracial marriage in the 1960s. Friends since childhood, and loved by both families, this couple are exiled after their wedding and have to wage a courageous battle to find their place in America as a loving family. Written by
Richard Jones <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Based on the true story that led the Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional Virginia's anti-miscegenation law (in Loving v. Virginia, 1967), paving the way for legal interracial marriages. See more »
The 1996 Showtime film Mr. and Mrs. Loving is a good made-for-TV movie about Richard and Mildred "Bean" Loving's struggle as an interracial married couple in the 1960s. Drawing from the real life of Richard and Mildred Loving and the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, Mr. and Mrs. Loving doesn't get all the facts right but captures the racial tension of the era well and sends a message that all need to hear.
Richard is a white man. Mildred, or "Bean" as her friends call her, is a black woman. At home in Central Point, Virginia, where both white and black Americans get along very well, Richard and Mildred had been childhood friends for years until they grew up a little more and became much more than friends. When Mildred tells Richard the news that she's pregnant, they decide to marry; but unfortunately for them, it was illegal in the state of Virginia for them to do so. After getting married in Washington D.C. and returning home, hoping that the law wouldn't care or couldn't do anything about their marriage, they are arrested, thrown in jail, and convicted down the road for "miscegenation." Their sentence? One to three years in jail for being married to one another. However, the judge gives them a deal: he would suspend the sentence for 25 years if they left Virginia's Carolina County and never returned until that 25 suspension expired. So the Lovings move to Washington D.C., where they struggle with all sorts of new big city racial problems and their now famous court case.
Mr. and Mrs. Loving is not a historically accurate film in every detail of the Lovings' life, in fact the real Mildred Loving was quoted in The USA Today as saying that "not much of it was very true. The only part of it right was I had three children." Still, the film portrays the nation-wide friction between white and black Americans and the stupidity of racism quite well as Richard and Mildred feel the scorn of a discriminatory society in every corner of their life simply because of their love and marriage. But the film also does a good job showing that racism isn't just one sided and wide spread, it comes in all forms from many different individuals and doesn't even come from everybody.
Mr. and Mrs. Loving is also a good film on the technical side of the coin. The acting is very good all around: Timothy Hutton doesn't always say a whole lot as Richard, but his subtly is what makes the role work. Also, Lela Rochon really stands out in the film (why the blazes isn't she in more popular films?) giving an excellent performance as Mildred. Rochon is called upon to do some very soft and intense acting and assumes the responsibilities of her role perfectly in every scene. Delivering your more typical (but not bad) made-for-TV cinematography and sometimes getting a little over dramatic and sentimental with your typical (but not bad) Hollywood feel-goodness, the film never completely leaves Earth at any time and gets its message across without any problems. All in all, despite it's less-than perfect historical narrative, Mr. and Mrs. Loving is one of the better made-for-TV movies around.
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