November Rule follows the usual formula romantic relationships do without a single twist or notable thing to make it fresh Summary Steven (Mo McRae) and Leah (Tatyana Ali) have been dating for nearly half a year but thanks to Steven’s “November Rule” he decides to break up with her. You see, because of how important…


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November Rule

November Rule follows the usual formula romantic relationships do without a single twist or notable thing to make it fresh

Summary

Steven (Mo McRae) and Leah (Tatyana Ali) have been dating for nearly half a year but thanks to Steven’s “November Rule” he decides to break up with her. You see, because of how important the holidays were to him once, and how important he knows they are to women, he tries to skip all that. He doesn’t want them meeting his family, or him meeting theirs. He doesn’t want to find the perfect gift, much less pay for it. Plus, between New Years and Valentine’s Day, who wants to do all that right?

Well, Leah does. She thought her and Steven had something good going but then he breaks her heart with a cheap and quickly made lie. One which leaves you wondering, “How in the hell is he going to recover from this?” Alongside, “Why in the hell would she give him a second chance after that?”

Highlights

It Had Plots Which Could Have Been Interesting

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Though not the star of the film, nor was her acting or writing all that interesting, I must admit I found Stacey’s (La La Anthony) interesting. If only because of the idea of this woman, who has heavily relied on self-help books, trying to date and ending up with someone like Kareem (DJ Qualls). A sort of down white boy, a sneaker head and, I should add, Steven’s business partner in their sneaker business.

Alongside that, I thought Nick’s (Rick Gonzalez) storyline could have been interesting since we don’t see many films about young married people. Especially those who seem to have more ups than downs and the guy isn’t straying or tempted to. However, neither of these storylines are the focus.

Criticism

Sticking To The Formula

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I have done this criticism for films ad nauseum so I’m going to keep this tidy. Having a man who, because of some event in his life, become a sort of dog, is played out and old. For even with there being some emotional and vulnerable base to it, considering the things he says and does, it makes not one lick of sense why the woman forgives him. Especially since, 9 times out of 10, the woman has a lot going for her. So why does one grand gesture excuse the BS is beyond me.

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This is a whole seperate issue but isn’t even worth going into.

Overall: Negative (Skip It)

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For a lot of the films I watch, especially those like November Rule, I ask myself “Why have I never heard of this?” Now, sometimes, it is simply because there was no marketing budget. Making it so, unless you follow one of the actors’ on social media, of course, you wouldn’t know about the movie. However, with films like November Rule, I feel reminded why it is so hard for Black films to be taken seriously.

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Let’s not even talk about this dude and how he is supposed to be a monkey wrench for Steven and Leah’s reconciliation.

I mean, not to put the weight of the diversity problem on this one film, but it does help set that bar low. For, as much as some may wish it could, just casting Black folks into what white folk have done to death isn’t going to make a hit. You got to add a sense of culture, maybe a few twists, cast two people with envious chemistry, or something! Heck, take note of Stacey’s storyline. There, I’m sure, is a storyline which could work for a type A woman finding love, a Black woman trying interracial dating, if not someone who knows what they want based solely because a bunch of self-help books told her so.  Hell, Nick’s story also, a young couple trying to make it, much less a Hispanic one, is also the type of story which would have been better than this generic movie.

Hence the Negative label for the main plot is just eye-roll inducing and the subplots, sometimes, eclipse it.


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