ACT OF LOVE
Act of love is a romantic movie which features the actors Wesley Snipes, Sanaa Lathan, Aunjanue Ellis, John Amos, Regina Hall, Laz Alonso and was produced by Gina Prince. This movie is a peculiar love story between the two principal characters Franklyn Swift ( Wesley Snipes ) and Zora Banks ( Sanaa Lathan ). Both are beautiful and gifted, ambitious and passionate. She’s an aspiring and talented singer-songwriter, he’s an accomplished, if yet unlicensed, woodworker. They meet cute as she’s moving into a Brooklyn brownstone apartment where he’s just laid down the gorgeous hardwood floor. He helps her move her furniture and boxes of CDs and books inside, they share conversation and flirtatious glances. I can almost feel the erotic tension.
When they meet, Zora is teaching music at an elementary school while she puts together enough material to make her own record. Franklyn has found his calling- renovating brownstones- but at the moment is still scraping by. He has yet to get his GED so that he can take the test to become a licensed contractor, and so he has settled for working on non- union crews from which he can be dropped without notice. Zora and Franklyn share a love for Chinese food, Scrabble, and music. They spend the next two hours trying to stay together. While both Zora and Franklyn agree that art and integrity are more important than money ( he informs her, “if you’re looking for a brother with a fat bank account, I ain’t the one”), they also must contend with basic pressures-paying rent, for instance. The film’s episodic structure lays out a series of these pressures alongside the characters’s unspoken but quite evident fears, in terms both metaphorical and literal. For one instance, Franklyn’s parents (CCH Pounder and John Amos, whose appearances are far too fleeting here ), provide a momentary point of tension, when Franklyn and Zora go to visit and they judge their son harshly. Zora’s attempts to smooth over the rough spot only aggravate a longstanding familial ugliness that the movie does not explore further. But the most obvious example of the film’s stiltedness comes one night when Franklyn is awakened by Zora having an epileptic fit: though she has neglected to tell him about her condition, he’s quite able to deal with it. While the scene showing the seizure is wrenching, the aftermath is puzzlingly abrupt. When Zora wakes in the morning, looking unusually bedraggled, Franklyn asks her why she didn’t tell him and she admits that she’s afraid he would have left her if she had. He rightly points out that he’s still there with her, and she seems comforted by that fact. From there, the film never refers to her epilepsy again-even though she goes on to become pregnant, give birth, and cope with being a working mother-making it the most flagrant of the film’s telegraphic devices, but not the only one. This isn’t to say that the movie must deal with the condition “disease of the week “- style, by making it a tragic focus. Rather, its metaphorical function- to demonstrate that the seemingly unstoppable Zora has a “ weakness “- is made awkward by its lack of integration into the rest of the plot.
This plot comes to revolve around the couple’s troubles with money- it becomes an emblem and manifestation of Zora and Franklyn’s mutual and separates fears. She finds a producer, Reg Baptiste, who is willing to cut a demo with…