Love isn’t the fairytale journey we’ve grown to believe. In fact, it’s a bit complicated than we think.
Director Nzingha Stewart explores the parallels of the notion in the upcoming Lifetime original film, Love by the 10th Date. Shadow and Act premiered the romantic comedy on Wednesday (Dec. 28) which follows Gabrielle Fateful (Meagan Good), a magazine editor who toys with the theory of 10 dates to find love and happiness. With the help of co-workers and pals Neil (Kellee Stewart), Kellie (Keri Hilson) and Margot (Kelly Rowland), the journey is filled with shenanigans, a Trinidad James cameo and a little lesson on faith.
With the film highlighting open marriage, and relation fluidity (Neil’s boyfriend is bisexual), the film looks to be an ode to the classic romantic comedy troupe while taking on new lanes. Stewart explained this to critics who accused the film of being too stereotypical.
“It’s a romantic comedy – yes. Black people falling in love, brown bodies being intimate on screen (which I think is a beautiful thing) and yes, it’s funny,” she said. “But we also explore what it’s like to be in an open marriage, what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone who identifies as bi-sexual, what it’s like to be a black female artist. We all know the stories – how hard it is to get a movie done as a black person, as a woman, etc… and they’re true. But beyond that I’m grateful that we got this one made because I’m glad it exists. I’m glad that even in the parameters of basic cable we got to showcase the art of some of the dopest black artists working today in Brianna McCarthy and Fahamu Pecou, we got a score by the beautiful spirit Raphael Saadiq, we got funk rock goddess Joi Gilliam as just the voice of Gabby’s mom. There are gems all throughout. Just give it a chance.”
Stewart is known for her classic music videos from Eve, Jay Z and Keyshia Cole. She went on executively produce For Colored Girls in 2010 and direct episodes of How To Get Away With Murder, Pretty Little Liars and Grey’s Anatomy.
Love by the 10th Date will premiere on Lifetime January 28 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
Check out the trailer below.