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Brown Sugar (2002)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 5,083 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 58 user | 56 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Friends since childhood, a magazine editor and a hip-hop record executive stumble into romantic territory.

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(story), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Brown Sugar (2002)

Brown Sugar (2002) on IMDb 6.4/10

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2 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Andre Romulus 'Dre' Ellis
...
Sidney 'Syd' Shaw
...
Chris 'Cav' Anton Vichon
...
Reese Marie Wiggam Ellis
...
Kelby Dawson
...
...
Simon
...
Ren
Reggi Wyns ...
Ten
Melissa Martinez ...
Meghan
Aaliyyah Hill ...
Young Sidney
...
Young Dre
...
Older Woman
Breece Wilson ...
Woman
...
Woman 2
Edit

Storyline

This romantic comedy centers on a romance between an A&R exec, Dre, at a hip-hop label and a magazine editor, Sidney, who have known each other since childhood.. They find themselves drifting towards being more than friends, even as Dre is engaged, and Sidney starts being wooed by a handsome basketball player. Written by PhatBleek

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The rhythm, the love, the beat...and you don't stop. See more »

Genres:

Romance | Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Used to Love Her  »

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£90,877 (UK) (18 July 2003)

Gross:

£220,295 (UK) (25 July 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

The soundtrack lists "Wedding March" by Lohengrin, but it was written by Richard Wagner for the opera "Lohengrin". See more »

Quotes

Chris: I'm not the Humphrey Bogart in this. I'm the Peter Lorre. I'm the sidekick character. You the Humphrey Bogart. You had your opening. You know what I'm saying? She wanted you to stop her from marrying the old dude, but you let it ride, you know? Same thing Bogey did, man. You're the same dude.
Dre: Man, don't be dissin' Humphrey Bogart, man.
Chris: Why not?
Dre: 'Cause he's Humphrey Bogart. He's the man. Yo, he was fightin' a war. That's what they did back then.
Chris: You know what he needed to do back then? He needed...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Both "De La Soul" and "Method Man" are credited in the opening credits and not in the end credits. Therefore, the IMDb ordering uses the opening credits first and fills in the rest with the end credits. See more »

Connections

References Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Going Down
Written by Chief Xcel, Gift of Gab and Jonnell
Performed by Blackalicious (featuring Lateef Dumont (as Lateef The Truth Speaker) and Keke Wyatt
Courtesy of MCA Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A hip-hop culture/romantic comedy that avoids the gags of both genres
3 April 2003 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Brown Sugar (2002) could have been retitled Love & Hip-hop if only to simplify matters. Like Love & Basketball, it marries the tried-and-true romantic flick formula to the emergence of mainstream "black" culture. Because of these similarities and the presence of Sanaa Lathan, most viewers will quickly lump Brown Sugar into one of two pools. They will either see it as yet another "black" film about a lifestyle that was once counter-cultural and is now, thanks to MTV, cliched or as one more in a long line of romantic comedies.

This film fits into both categories but is far better than most of its fellow films. The hip-hop culture is a childhood background that has turned into a profitable lifestyle for Dre and Sid, the two main characters. Their careers are products of the American craze for pop culture but their love for hip-hop is strong enough to allow them the hope that they can somehow make a difference in the business. Films with black stars tend either to drown them with imagery of the ghetto (a la Menace II Society, Baby Boy, etc) or completely ignore the African-American element, dress the characters in business suits, and absorb them into the "white" corporate world of success. Brown Sugar does neither. Hip-hop is natural to Dre and Sid and is present in their conversations without being obtrusive. Writer Michael Elliot is wise to let them lead their lives in the corporate world without ever losing their childhood backgrounds.

In the other camp, romantic comedies generally sacrifice character development and plausibility to accomodate the dreaded near-misses, love misunderstandings, and the climatic scene where the man publicly confesses his undying love. For the most part, Brown Sugar steers clear of these pitfalls and remains true to its characters. The movie never pretends that any of its characters are perfect or indeed that any of them are ever sure of any of their emotions. This is not a fairy tale movie where characters have sex because they are in love. This film is more realistic. The characters are young and romantic at heart and for one reason or another, they find sex first. That then leads them to at least the misguided pretense of love. As one character explains it, "put a man and a woman together for long enough and something's bound to happen." Infidelity is shown as a sign of emotional uncertainty not of villainy. Even the best of the characters eventually considers it. But neither Famuyiwa's camera or Elliot's script vilify them for it. The characters earn the viewer's sympathy despite their mistakes and when confronted by their angry spouses, they do try their best to be honest and direct.

The script also avoids the kinds of contrived jealousy traps that most romantic comedies rely on. When one character finally falls for another and acts on his feelings, he is not lead astray by a misunderstanding. He arrives early enough to realize that she has managed to find love elsewhere while he was making up his mind, but too late to do anything about it. Even the public pronouncement of love is cleverly flipped. All in all, this movie should be watched by anyone who has seen one too many weak romantic or African-American comedies and needs to be reminded that a string of bad movies does not ruin a genre.


13 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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