From: Silver Screen

Black History Month Weekend Watchlist: Celebrating Black joy

The month of February, while filled with love, is a great time to immerse yourself in Black culture, celebration and artistry. While it is important to acknowledge Black history, it is also essential to consume Black media that showcases other themes, aside from racial trauma and hardship. Here is a list of movies to get you moving, grooving and embracing Blackness in different genres.

Good Burger (1997)

“Good Burger” tells the story of Dexter Reed (Kenan Thompson), a high school student in need of a job for the summer after getting into a car accident with his teacher Mr. Wheat (Sinbad). Dexter ends up at a burger joint called Good Burger and finds companionship with dim-witted cashier Ed (Kel Mitchell). The two co-workers are in for a surprise, as they enter a race to save Good Burger from going out of business because of a new competing restaurant, Mondo Burger. 

The comedy film was directed by Brian Robbins and written by Dan Schneider, Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert. Many may know Schneider for writing critically acclaimed Nickelodeon shows such as “iCarly” and “Victorious.”

“Good Burger” is available to stream on YouTube for free with ads now.

Twitches (2005)

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What do you get when you combine the plot of “Sister, Sister” with supernatural creatures? You get the fun and fresh Disney Channel Original Movie “Twitches,” a classic in the “separated at birth” canon. Identical twins Alex Fielding/Artemis (Tia Mowry-Hardrict) and Camryn Barnes/Apolla (Tamera Mowry-Housley) are sent to Earth as babies from their magical kingdom, Coventry, to be protected from an evil force. Adopted into different families, they are unaware of each other’s existence until a chance meeting in a clothing shop binds them together. When they find out they have magical powers, they embark on a mission to save Coventry and their biological mother from the evil force’s peril.

Based off the book series T*Witches by H.B. Gilmour, “Twitches” was directed by Stuart Gillard, who has directed other Disney Channel Original Movies such as “Girl Vs. Monster” and “Avalon High.”

“Twitches” is available to stream on Disney+ now.

Coming to America (1988)

One of Eddie Murphy’s most prominent films, “Coming to America” tells the story of Prince Akeem Joffer of the fictional African nation Zamunda, a man who desperately needs a wife that loves him for his personality rather than his wealth. As his parents try to set him up with a bride, he flees to America with his loyal servant Semmi (Arsenio Hall). He centers his eye on Queens, New York, because “what better place to find a queen than the city of Queens?” Portraying themselves as college students, Prince Akeem and Semmi find work at McDowell’s, a local fast food restaurant, and the prince soon falls in love with the owner’s daughter, Lisa (Shari Headley).

“Coming to America” was directed by John Landis and Murphy is credited as a writer along with David Sheffield and Barry W. Blaustein, both of whom he worked alongside in some of his other starring roles, such as “Boomerang” and “The Nutty Professor.” 

“Coming to America” is available to stream on YouTube for $2.99 now.

The Princess and the Frog (2009)

A classic in the Disney Princess catalog, “The Princess and the Frog” made history by creating the first Black Disney Princess, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose). Set in New Orleans, Louisiana, the film follows waitress Tiana who dreams of opening her own restaurant but lacks the funds and time. At a costume party, she crosses paths with Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), a visiting royal turned into a frog by con-artist and tarot reader Dr. Facilier (Keith David). He pleads for Tiana to kiss him to break the spell, and she gives in. The spell, however, turns her into a frog too, and the two must find a way to get back into their human forms.

A new take on the Grimm Brothers’ “The Frog Prince,” this fairy tale was directed and written by Ron Clements and John Musker, with additional writing credits to Greg Erb.

“The Princess and the Frog” is available to stream on Disney+ now.

Barbershop (2002)

“Barbershop” is a slice-of-life dramedy that everyone should watch at least once. The film combines multiple storylines in its 1 hour and 42-minute runtime. Most of the central characters are workers for the shop run by owner Calvin Palmer Jr. (Ice Cube). Calvin finds himself in a dilemma when he accidentally sells the barbershop, passed down by his father, to a loan shark (Keith David). The barber finds himself in an action packed race to find money and get his shop back. A barrage of gunfire, car chases and ATM thefts ensue.

The film was directed by Tim Story and written by Mark Brown, Don D. Scott and Marshall Todd. Aside from directing films, Story has also directed a number of music videos, including Tyrese’s “Sweet Lady” and Beenie Man’s “Love Me Now.” 

“Barbershop” is available to stream on YouTube for $3.99 now.

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