Do you remember back in 94’ when you were about 13 years old watching Jason’s Lyric for the first time when you probably shouldn’t have been because the movie was rated ‘R,’ and you were suppose to be cleaning your room? Do you remember the feeling of preteen girl giddiness, one hand over one eye, watching the scene where Jason Alexander intimately rubs Jada Pickett’s feet on the banks of the river? Do you remember feeling not quite right about watching the scene because it was sexually graphic—sex on the banks of some Texas’ bayou—and because your momma specifically told you not to watch the movie, but, being a hormonal sexually curious preteen you watched one hand over one eye anyway? Yes, I remember.
And I remember feeling the same way as I watched the movie, Just Wright, starring Queen Latifah, Common, and Paula Patton. Honestly, I felt not quite right watching Queen Latifah and Common make-out on the silver screen. When Common kissed Queen Latifah, I felt as if I was once again a pimply pubescent girl giggling senselessly with one hand over one eye at a sex scene. It was weird and I know for a fact that I was not the only one in the movie theater who cringed, giggled, shifted in seat, placed one hand over one eye when they kissed . . . saying to yourself over and over and over again, “Something about this is not quite right.”
Could it have something to do with the fact that people speculate about Queen Latifah’s sexuality—“Y’all know she’s a lesbian . . . I know she slept with Tatiana Ali . . . Y’all saw her lick the woman’s leg in Set It Off”? Could it have something to do with the fact that Common is the leading man in a romantic drama? Could it be that we only see Queen Latifah playing comedic asexual roles such as Charlene in Bringing down the House and as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray? Could it have something to do with the fact that most leading ladies in romantic dramas are sizes 0’s and -1’s, not sizes 14 plus (i.e. Queen Latifah says, “I ain’t one of those salad eating girls”) and the color of ivory?
Honestly, I think it is all of the above. Besides the fact that there was no on screen chemistry between Common and Queen Latifah, it was hard for me to watch them kissing and having sex. Of course, they did not show them having sex. They only showed clips of them kissing and holding each other in the bed. However, given the curious anxiety I felt and others in the theater felt, they might as well have shown them groping, panting, and humping each other. It was that awkwardly intense.
Mind you, I understand discriminatory sexual politics of disbelieving that Queen Latifah could star in a leading romantic heterosexual role. I know that if she was seen to be bi-curious, but ultra feminine and stereotypical male gaze sexy like Nicki Minaj then perhaps we would accept her kiss with Common as people have accepted the fact that Nicki Minaj likes ménage trio, signing women’s boobs, and smacking big ole ghetto booties. Perhaps, we would not place one hand over one eye while watching the movie. Perhaps, we would not feel awkward watching the movie and see the movie as just right.
So, was I the only one who felt awkward while watching the movie?