Early this summer, Jeff, my husband, and I met this couple: John and Jackie*. They are an older couple and we have learned to look up to them in a lot of ways.
We were making dinner plans one day and we had an interaction that went something like this:
John*: Are you going to see “Southside with You”? Jackie and I are going to see it on Friday night. We’d love for you to join us.
Me: I doubt it.
John: Really? Why not?
Me: It’s hard to get discount tickets for new releases. (Yes, I’m that frugal.)
Me: No, I mean, the Costco movie tickets tend not to work on opening weekend. We normally go on the second or third weekend.
John: Well, you know seeing a movie on the first weekend helps the movie stay open on weekends two and three.
Me: Um, I know that.
John: You also know that most black movies aren’t open more than a couple of weeks. When we don’t support it the first weekend, it may not be around a second. If you want to see it, you really should try to see it the first weekend.
Me (deflated): ok…
I felt like a deflated child. I felt like my parent telling me that I’ve been doing wrong even when I thought I was doing the right thing. It was like the day I took one of the horoscope things from the grocery store because I thought it was free only to find out I stole it.
And this was so simple. So easy.
See, I’m all for supporting the minority movie, not just black, but small movies, independent movies, movies that teach important lessons, movies that are against the moral grain, etc.
And truthfully, we rarely go to movies on opening weekend. For the bigger movies, I don’t want to fight crowds or get bad seats. For the smaller movies, it’s just me being cheap.
But when John said it, I felt like I had spent a lot of time trying to save a few dollars and possibly costing a good movie real support. Movies that deserve more attention. Movies that don’t fit the minority stereotypes. Ones that are well-written and beautiful. Movies that we wrote. Movies that my brothers and sisters wrote, not an already established actor or director.
We need to break the stereotypes, the molds. We need to support the movies that are not typically blockbusters and turn those movies into the ones that production companies are clamoring to make.
So, what’s the one thing you could do to help movies that could lead to progress:
Go to the movies on opening weekend.
Go with your friends.
Make it a date night.
Drag your siblings.
Whatever you can do.
This is a plea to see a new movie, one out tonight.
Loving tells the story of interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving, who fell in love and were married in 1958. They grew up in Central Point, a small town in Virginia that was more integrated than surrounding areas in the American South. Yet it was the state of Virginia, where they were making their home and starting a family, that first jailed and then banished them. Richard and Mildred relocated with their children to the inner city of Washington, D.C., but the family ultimately tries to find a way back to Virginia.
This story is the epitome of the melting pot of the United States. It shows us the struggles that previous generations have gone through to lead us down the path of choosing our partner.
If the plot of this movie even ignites the smallest spark in you, go out and see it. And if it doesn’t, choose to go see other movies that you normally would wait for it to come out on DVD.
*Names have been changed to protect their privacy.