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Home Movies A Journal For Jordan (2021) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

A Journal For Jordan (2021) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)

by Amari

A Journal For Jordan is one of the most romantic movies you may have seen in a long time, and its highlight on the sacrifices of military families will pull at your heartstrings.

Director(s)Denzel Washington
Screenplay ByVirgil Williams
Date Released12/4/2021
Where To WatchIn Theaters
Genre(s)Drama, Romance, Biopic, Family, War
Duration2 hours, 11 Minutes
Content RatingPG-13
Noted Cast
DanaChanté Adams
CharlesMichael B. Jordan
Jordan (Teen)Jalon Christian

Film Summary

Starting in 1998 and ending sometime in 2018, we follow the romance Dana and Charles share, alongside the challenge of being in love with someone who’d be willing to sacrifice it all for their country. Including the opportunity to be a father and a husband.

Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered

  • Reason(s) for Film Rating: cursing, sexual situations, nudity (side boob and Michael B. Jordan’s ass), blood, implied gun violence, and depiction of war
  • Why don’t we meet anyone who is part of Charles’ family, besides the company he raised and protected for war?
  • Did Charles leave anything for his daughter to get to know him better? Because, after a certain point, it seems to be all about Jordan, and his first child is a ghost. One Dana doesn’t even make an effort for Jordan to meet and spend time with.

Review

Highlights

Dana and Charles’ Romance

Dana (Chanté Adams) getting picked up by Charles to go to her dad's house

Dana (Chanté Adams)

A lot of romance films don’t get you into the relationship. More often than not, there is a heavy reliance on the two leads being attractive, one or both being charming, and the whole dating part, showing how these two people are compatible, that is set aside. With A Journal For Jordan, we get to see the uneasy and awkwardness of the early days, especially since Dana has baggage from her father being a military man.

Also, we get tons of conversations, Charles saying the right thing more often than not, but also stumbling and being corny. But, best of all, we see walls coming down, them being vulnerable with one another, and there being a quality build-up to them having sex. Which includes going out on DATES!

And can I add-in, Dana’s commentary about Charles raggedy sneakers was a nice touch? Little things like that adds layers and pushes you to realize “Based on a True Story” doesn’t always have to be a legal loophole or a potential red flag. It can act as a reminder that what we’re seeing is very much real, and someone had the benefit and heartache, from the experience we’re seeing.

Dating A Military Man

Charles (Michael B. Jordan)

Charles (Michael B. Jordan)

When it comes to people enlisted in the military, the sacrifice often involves a soldier losing their life and making the ultimate sacrifice for their country. However, the sacrifices they make while alive aren’t gone into as much. For example, Charles often puts his company, his men, over Dana – both when she is pregnant and when they are dating. Perpetually, it seems those who date someone in the military are a mistress who gets seen when they can, and I like the film doesn’t pull punches with that.

Also, while not heavily focused on, it notes how forts and traveling to distant places can foster opportunities for infidelity. Possibly due to character flaws and because there is a level of trauma that can easily have lines blur and cause things to happen. And considering how most military and war films paint soldiers either as heroes or victims of a system that didn’t support them, this take, which holds them accountable, was refreshing.

Jordan’s Storyline

Jordan - Teen (Jalon Christian) crying

Jordan – Teen (Jalon Christian)

It should be expected that the kid whose name in the film would have a notable role, but I’ll admit they could have done more. Jordan is sacrificed for the sake of building the romance, but towards the tail end of the film, you feel something for the kid. He has grown up without a father, his mom’s work keeps him isolated from his family, and he goes to a school where he is made fun of because of his fair skin. Add in his mother doesn’t talk about his dad due to her own trauma, and it’s hard to not get emotional as Jordan gets the chance to know his dad in his father’s own words.

On The Fence

Inconsistently Keeping Viewers Abreast What Year It Is

Throughout the film, we jump back and forth between the past and present, and only three times is the film clear with what year it is or how much time passed. The main issue with A Journal For Jordan doing this is that it doesn’t allow you to fully understand and appreciate the milestones of Dana and Charles’ relationship or Jordan growing up.

Overall

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

A Journal For Jordan excels in building the kind of relationship that gives you butterflies in your stomach and has you turn green with envy. Unfortunately, this does mean Jordan’s part in this is played down, but it still forces you to tears, and the whole film shows the challenge of committing to someone who puts their country before their spouse, their children, and even their own life.

Movie Directory

An old school film reel drawn by artist Dean Nelson.

Ratings

  • Recommended: Some of the best-seen movies we have ever watched and mentioned to friends, family, and strangers as films that need to be seen.
  • Positive (Worth Seeing): Whether you’ll have to go to the movies, download, or stream, movies of this category are worth your time and money with few, if any, qualms from us.
  • Mixed (Divisive): Due to this movie having a few quirks, of which may work for some and for others be a problem, we believe your enjoyment of this movie will depend on your taste.
  • Negative (Acquired Taste): While one or two elements kept us going until the end, unfortunately, we’re of the opinion this film never reached the potential it was marketed to have.

Special Categories/ Tags

  • Indie: By our definition, independent films are films you have to seek to find due to limited availability or lack of a marketing push.
  • Film Festival: Featured in this tag are films and shorts which were discovered thanks to various film festivals, so some of the productions may not have wide availability but still may deserve to be on your watch.
  • Shorts: Be it ten or fifteen minutes, or a half-hour, these quick teases or films get right to the point, often show the potential of filmmakers and the actors who have joined them in their journey.
Title Card - A Journal For Jordan (2021)
A Journal For Jordan (2021) – Review/ Summary (with Spoilers)
Who Is This For?
Those who want a pure and swoon worthy romance that may have an obvious sad ending, but are still willing to go on a ride.
Highlights
Dana and Charles' Romance
Dating A Military Man
Jordan's Storyline
Disputable
Inconsistently Keeping Viewers Abreast What Year It Is
82

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