If you are a husband or boyfriend of a black woman, don’t talk about her hair. Always say that her hair looks nice, even if it looks like tumbleweed, a mop, or a horse’s tail. Hair is a very emotional topic to black women.
Exhibit A: a scene from Derek Dow’s short 16-minute film “The Big Chop.”
Kris (Simone Missick, of Luke Cage fame) just made “the big chop.” She has cut off all her long relaxed hair, and she is WAY past emotional. Mascara running. Afro covered with a hoodie. Homegirl is the definition of a hot mess. She demands that her man Thomas (Chinedu Unaka) buy her some hair.
Thomas: “Let it go. Leave that in the past. Start looking at the future.”
Kris: (Snatches down her hood. Points at her hair.) “I look like a freed slave!”
Thomas: “I don’t even know what hair to get.”
Kris: “Get me the “Rhionce.”
Thomas: “The what?”
Kris: “It’s a new hair line. It’s got Rhianna and Beyonce all in the same pack.”
This is Us. Black Woman Style.
Which is why “The Big Chop” was so funny and relatable.
Ten-year-old Kris (McKenzie Franklin) loves her natural hair. Her mom, however, does not. Dorothy (Kashuna Perfected) has no idea what to do with it. When she was painfully combing Kris’s hair, I said to myself, “Where is the Sulfur 8 and the Ultra Sheen? That child’s hair needs a detangler!” Kris hates getting her hair combed but loves the natural wild look. So does her best friend Thomas (Kevin Kilumbu).
Two mean girls at the park don’t like Kris’ hair. They say ugly things to Kris, hurting her feelings. Eventually Kris gets a perm, making her mother very happy.
Fast forward to Kris and Thomas as an adult couple. Thomas is trying his best to comfort his lady, but nothing is working. While Thomas is buying her some new hair, Kris sees a woman berating her natural headed granddaughter. “You look like Jaden Smith!” Grandma says. Kris intervenes because she sees herself in that little girl.
In the end, Kris falls back in love with her natural hair.
I LOVED, LOVED this movie. It’s wonderfully hilarious. And it’s a love story. I’ve already watched it twice and will watch it again. Props to screenwriter Alisha Cowan and director Derek Dow.
An enthusiastic Ten out of Ten Mocha Angels.
This is Us (NBC).Wednesday, April 3rd.
Academy Award winner Period. End of Sentence. (Netflix). Saturday, April 6th.
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