A Good Day to be Black & Sexy is an anthology film that depicts different characters, who are mostly Black (I will specify if the character is not), in relationships and/or having relations. There are five main storylines which are sometimes divided by other forms of imagery. One break shows a short clip about experimenting with new things with your partner in bed and another shows a photo slideshow. There is no connection between each story, and they could really be watched in any order. The Netflix audience is far from nice to this film with their rating, but I like to think it would have more stars if it simply looked more “professional.” None of the actors are big names, and it is seems this film didn’t have a huge budget. But, let me go through each story to point out why you might just love A Good Day to be Black & Sexy.
“Reciprocity” opens with a man and woman lying together in bed. The camera remains focused on the bed except for the few times it cuts to the woman’s roommate, who is sleeping across the room. They like to remind you she’s there so you can take in the extent of the awkwardness of the situation. The conflict here lies in that the woman is receiving oral pleasure but will not…reciprocate. The women gets some and the man doesn’t! What an unusual circumstance. A part of me respects her for pulling that off, but the Black Feminist inside of me also empathises with the man. The ten minute “sex scene” brings up some important issues in sex, including: reciprocity and the lack thereof and the issue of feeling or being made to feel obligated to do things for your partner. In this scenario, these issues clash, and it can become difficult to decide when, if ever, the man or the woman is in the wrong. They are both able to “finish” in the end, with the woman’s finish being especially big. I get out of it what I already knew: sex is simple, but people are complex.
In “Her Man,” woman and man are yet again in bed together (as you may have guessed by now, a recurring theme). This time, the cuts from the characters in bed show a buzzing cell phone that really wants to be answered. Pictures of sex cells flash on your screen to confirm that climax is reached. I assume by both the man and the woman. Reciprocity! Then the guy does the worst thing a man can do when a woman tries to cuddle. He “has to go to the bathroom,” and when he returns, he starts getting dressed. The woman is sassy in a way I find particularly relatable, and I love it. My favorite part of this short is the woman’s use of seduction to tease, persuade, and eventually punish the man. The film here is a bit more dynamic, not always shooting straight on. The camera often reveals the nonverbal conversations taking place by cutting the face out of the panel and focusing on other parts of the body. You may notice the small things, like how the man holds his hands so close to the woman’s body without actually touching her in his struggle to fight temptation. Or the face he makes in reaction to her climbing out from under the covers and exposing her naked body. I won’t spoil the main conflict, but the tension here goes beyond just sex. Know that the guy is kinda a jerk, even though they’re both equally grimey.
The young woman in “Tonite I” and “Tonite II” has a birthday that is eventful in good and bad ways. At the beginning of her night, she spends time with her half-ass friend before he tells her to “give it up” or get out of his car. The first time I watched this, I got really scared about the decision she was going to make and was ready to hate the guy for taking away her agency. She ends up on the side of the road, and I was so happy but still hated the guy. She catches a ride with her two friends, and the driver is one of the girl’s’ family members, an older brother I think. The birthday girl keeps her eyes on the driver through the rear view mirror, and they connect throughout the night. His kindness is such a stark contrast to the harassment she dealt with earlier. It is super easy to ignore his baby mama drama and just see him as a great guy, a definite upgrade. He tells her to pursue her dreams and cracks jokes. Whether he’s genuine isn’t important because the film only shows you what it shows you, so hold onto the moments you get. At the end of the night, they sleep together, and it’s her first time. Happy Birthday to her…
“American Boy” is the final story of A Good Day to be Black & Sexy, and it feels different from the rest. The cast includes an Asian woman, her family, and the man she is dating. There is also no sex…at all. I am not sure which causes the different vibe: the entry of non-Black characters or the lack of sexual encounter. Probably, both. The issue here is between the Black boyfriend and the Asian parents. Stereotypical, indeed. He spends hours, from daylight to nighttime, alone in her room. Somehow, he gets away with bouncing a basketball, and it bothers me because basketballs are really loud. His character does little to intrigue me, but I find respect for him in his final act of bravery, romance, and rebellion. He leaves his confinement, grabs his things from the living room, and heads for the door. Before he storms out, he turns back to kiss his woman in front of her mother, sister, and father before leaving. A plate crashes to the floor.
This movie is all about being Black and being Sexy. There are so many facets of what it means to be Black and what it means to be Sexy. The manifestation of being both can be quite complex. This movie does a great job of scraping the surface. I emphasize the Blackness of the cast because this movie was a product of Black&SexyTV. The people who have been “making Black normal” since they began their work. And I say “Blackness” because the cast is Black beyond their skin color. It isn’t everyday that we run across a movie with a majority Black cast, and it definitely isn’t everyday that this cast acts like normal people instead of stereotypes or whitewashed versions of themselves.
Something draws me into this film, and I know it’s its familiarity. I haven’t refused my partner oral sex while in the same room as my roommate (I have never had a roommate), but there are so many aspects of the scene that I have experienced. I can relate to what actually happens and the way the characters choose to interact and react. I have acted in the way these women act. Made the same gestures and looked the same way with my eyes and spoken in the same tones. I see Black men I know in the Black men in this movie. To be frank, this is what it must feel like to be White and watch television, to see yourself actually depicted in shows and movies. So in this time of boycotting award shows that only honor certain actors, if you wanted to know or be reminded how it can feel to be Black and Sexy, I encourage you to watch this anthology for all of its simplicities and truthfulness.
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