Newlyweeds is a quick love story which finds an outsider, namely weed, being what brings two people together and what pushes them apart.
Review (with Spoilers)
This is one of those films which pop up on your radar and because it isn’t coming out anywhere close, or is too expensive where available in theaters, you wait until it comes out on VOD, DVD or what have you. However, with this film being a stoner romance film, featuring Black characters at that, it is hard to not want to see if you missed out. So, with that said, let’s talk about Newlyweeds.
Characters & Story
The film’s primary focus is on the character Lyle (played by Amari Cheatom) who is a habitual user of weed. Before he eats he smokes; once he gets home he smokes; and pretty much anytime he needs to zone out or is about to do something stressful, he takes a hit. However, considering her works in repossession, you can’t really blame him for smoking so much. But, alongside him is his girlfriend Nina (played by Trae Harris) who likes smoking weed too, but rather than use it to escape from life, she seems to be the type who uses it for existential reasons.
Making for a film in which we have a young woman who wishes to seek out the world dating a man who is just trying to make it through the day. Their bond seems stronger when weed is around, then when it is not, and when weed is absent, we see what their relationship is really like.
What I loved most about the film is the way we are introduced to their relationship. She is talking about her dreams, he is having “weed talk” and they are making plans for their future, and it just makes you want to go “aw.” Then, outside of that, watching Lyle’s life working in the repossession occupation brings a lot of laughs as he stalks people and takes their stuff, and throughout the film there are many other instances of comedy which definitely helped the movie. Be it the homo-thug Philly (played by Isiah Whitlock Jr.) or Nina’s father Devin (played by Anthony Chisholm), both bring funny moments to their scenes as the film enters, or is in its second act.
Perhaps another thing worth mentioning is how nice, and perhaps rare, it is to see the male end of the relationship be vulnerable in a film featuring Black characters. Usually, things are written where the woman has a change of heart or is the one who gets jealous, insecure and etc., but in Newlyweeds’ case, Lyle is the one who realizes that Nina could have the world, and for some reason chose him. It makes their relationship all the more interesting, especially when we learn about the world Nina comes from.
Leading to the almost sole issue of the movie which sort of ruins it: They make weed seem like it is on the level of crack. The reason I say this is because when Lyle doesn’t get to do his usual routine of getting some weed after work, this leads the man to acting like a crack head and from there the movie goes downhill quick. In fact, it even leads you to question whether the Lyle we get to know is the man we met in the first half of the film or is truly the one in the 2nd half. I say this because the transition from one to the other seems almost dramatically fast to the point that it seems his character had a mask on in order to keep Nina unaware of whatever his past maybe.
And perhaps another issue worth mentioning is, you do sort of wonder by the end of the movie how did Nina and Lyle meet, much less fall in love to the point of living with one another. Don’t get me wrong, these questions don’t really pop up in the beginning for they seem good together, but once things fall apart you do start analyzing things. For example, you have to sort of wonder how this guy who seemingly doesn’t have a friend, not on probation, or that isn’t a drug dealer, ended up with this girl who seemingly lives on the good side of town, and has traveled a little bit.
Overall: TV Viewing
This film is worth, perhaps, viewing once. The reason I say this is because the first half is a cute little stoner romance movie, and that is the main reason I’m not saying to skip this. However the 2nd half I feel is weak, in comparison to the first half, and between Nina and Lyle’s relationship disintegrating and Lyle’s fall from grace, which leads him to acting like a crack head, the film goes from likable, to almost like an urban PSA trying to make weed seem like it will make you so addicted that you’ll allow yourself to look, and act, like a fool. Hence why I think this is for TV viewing, assuming it ever comes to television.