6.9/10
722
31 user 2 critic

Love Song (2000)

A privileged, black college student with a fiance falls in love with a white musician she meets on her 21st birthday.

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1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Camille Livingston (as Monica Arnold)
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...
Toni
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Evie Livingston
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Malik / Joey Anderson
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House Director
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Mad Rage / Skip (as Tyrese)
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Alfred Livingston
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Renee
Philip Cole ...
Hector Ruiz
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Gwen Marie Dumas
Cecile Cristobal ...
Waitress / Upscale Jazz Joint
Nikita Dougan ...
Jerri
Sarah Francis ...
Shamika
...
Calvin Dumas
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Storyline

A privileged, black college student with a fiance falls in love with a white musician she meets on her 21st birthday.

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Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for language and mild sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 December 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cantec de dragoste  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Justin Timberlake was originally cast in the role of Billy. See more »

Quotes

Camille Livingston: You are *so beautiful*. But I can't kiss you yet.
Billy Ryan Gallo: Yet. That's promising.
See more »

Soundtracks

What My Heart Says
Written by Diane Warren
Recorded by Monica
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User Reviews

 
The "I'm In Love with a Dirty White Boy" Blues
3 December 2000 | by See all my reviews

"Waiting for Exhale" was a marvelous title to give a book about women (in this case, black women) waiting for the right man to mosy on their way, but it didn't seem to touch on anything that white women haven't been encountering in much the same way. This is probably what made it a best seller--the common ground women from different races tread in search of love and happiness. It's still the same for women from generations past, waiting to get got, hoping and, more than not, settling for something less than the dream. The young black college girls in the new movie "Love Song" seem to be suffering some of the same problem. One of them has no boyfriend; the second contends with the good sex and black-activist provocations of her lover; and the third has a fairy-princess future mapped out for her. Camille Livingston (singer Monica Arnold) doesn't know when she's got a good thing, but it's just not her thing. She wants to do what makes her parents happy--if only it made her just as happy. And it doesn't. She doesn't want to follow in the footsteps of her physician father; social work with inner-city girls from broken families is more to her liking. She has a med-student boyfriend who models himself after her father, but who doesn't really understand her needs or aspirations. And she doesn't have the courage to be honest with any of them about where she wants to go in her life.

It's the common problem of children who have been doted over too much. They don't feel they have any say in the matter of their lives when they reach adulthood, because their parents are too busy choosing one for them. And they become miserably obliging appendages of Mom and Dad, living and breathing dutifully for Poppy and Mommy's smiles and approbation. I guess the fact that black people can indulge themselves with this age-old theme may seem encouraging, but I don't think "Love Song" brings anything fresh to the formula. Director Julie Dash is too evenhanded about the romance when a dirty white-boy mechanic steps into the fray, and touches things in Camille that no one has before. You'd like it to fly, but Dash pretty much keeps it in the hangar. The dirty white boy washes up for his blues band sessions with top musicians in the New Orleans area. Christian Kane as Billy Ryan lets the fire in his eyes and singing (I'd swear it was Richard Marx standing in for him.) provide the necessary heat and momentum to move the story along. He plays Billy's interest in Camille with restraint and shrewdness. He's courtly, attentive, and available--like a paid escort. Not that I have anything against manners, deliberation, or cleaning up, but, in spirit, this movie comes across as a tentative, pasteurized version of "The Bodyguard." (And that movie was pretty tentative and sanitized itself.) I'm not sure it really has all that much passion for interracial interaction. It likes flirting with the idea as if it suspected that racial separatists were right, like the title of the movie should be "Flirting With Disaster."

I don't know how well black-and-white couples do when compared with same-race matches, but being of mixed racial background myself, I'd like to think they have a future. But "Love Song" is much too unsure of where it's going. What it needs is a healthy dose of raw courage and audacity about the subject, when what we get are the same juvenile MTV platitudes about following your heart. Maybe that's why Monica sings the closing song at such a low register. Perhaps she doesn't want anyone to notice that she doesn't believe the story's message for a second.


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