Boomerang: Lessons In Love Part I

The Lessons That Film Taught Me About Relationships

Featured, Film & TV, Love & Relationships

Boomerang is undoubtedly a classic Black film. From the all-black cast, to the LaFace-produced soundtrack, the film showcased Black people at our finest. Successful, attractive, and intelligent come to mind when each character enters the screen, and Chantress had to be the most progressive company ever with its all-black staff. When the film dropped in 1992, it was quintessential cool.

Though the film is nearly 20 years old, the subject it sheds light on that remains relevant to me is the nature of Black male/female relationships. I have watched this film countless times, and when I caught it again this past week, I decided to make a list of the relationship lessons I learned from this film.

1. Seeking opportunities for sex is part of a single man’s daily routine. Through the eyes of Marcus Graham (Eddie Murphy) and his buddies, Gerard (David Alan Grier) and Tyler (Martin Lawrence) we see that the search for women and sexual opportunities happens every day for the single man. Marcus’ job has the greatest of perks since part of his position allows him to interview models for campaign ads, i.e. Hometown Buffet for the single man. It makes sense – if a man isn’t married or in a committed relationship, why shouldn’t he be on the lookout for his next great sexual conquest?

2. Sex once had so much value, a man might have chosen it over money. In today’s oversexed society, this rule no longer applies because 1) we are flooded with sexual imagery daily, and 2) so many women no longer believe that their sex has power, so they don’t believe in making men wait for it. In the film, however, Marcus continues to work for the Lady Eloise company after it acquires Chantress in spite of a having to take “a smaller office”  just for the chance that he might get to sleep with Jacqueline (Robin Givens).

3. Desperation is never attractive. If a man doesn’t want you, acting desperate or helpless, does nothing to help your case. This is best exhibited by Marcus’ scorned neighbor, Yvonne (Tisha Campbell-Martin) and all of her cockblocking.

4. Beauty isn’t everything. Especially if beauty lacks brains. Marcus displays how easy it can be to get over on a woman who only has her looks to fall back on in his interaction with Christie (Lela Rochon). And having “hammertime in her shoes” did not help.

4. Success attracts success. One reason Marcus falls so hard for Jacqueline is because she’s a woman in power. Despite the stereotype that men find women in power intimidating and/or are uncomfortable with a woman who is the breadwinner, there are some men who find power sexy. It usually helps if the man in question is successful himself.

5. Women drop tons of clues that they like a guy, and men rarely pick up on them. From her entrance into the film, Angela (Halle Berry) is constantly showing Marcus that she likes him. She’s all in his business, going out with a friend of his she’s clearly not into, inquires into he and Jacqueline’s relationship, and attempts to help him get over Jacqueline. Marcus doesn’t take the bait until after Thanksgiving.

6. A man will put in work for a woman that he wants. Want is the operative word here. My grandmother has told me for years when it comes to relationships, “If a man wants you then you have something going, but if he doesn’t want you, you have nothing”. In spite of Marcus’ player/baller status, he was willing to do some serious hoop-jumping and waiting to get Jacqueline in bed. The passion he feels when he finally succeeds is felt through the screen.

7. Never be too available. This goes hand-in-hand with being desperate. If a man knows anytime he calls you, he can reach you and be with you, he knows he has you. The chase is over, and he’s on to his next prey. Marcus having to book an appointment with Jacqueline is an extreme example of not being available, but you get where I’m going with that.

8. Lameness will leave you lonely. Sometimes. Fellas, inexperience shows and it’s unattractive. Marcus’ buddy Gerard acts as his foil in the film. He is so incredibly uncool that next to Marcus, he doesn’t stand a chance. In spite of Angela’s sweet demeanor, why would she ever go for the guy that digs in his ear upon introduction? So lame, and so not booking that second date. As Angela put it, “Gerard couldn’t hit it even if he had a bat.” 

9. Your reputation can both help and harm you. Because Marcus’ sexual exploits are office news (thanks to Boney T played by Chris Rock) women are fascinated by him and want to know what the buzz is all about. Even Lady Eloise (Eartha Kitt) had heard about Marcus being “very beguiling to women”. However, when he met his match in Jacqueline, that information was nothing but fodder for her to use to toy with him as she wished.

10. Most players have been played. Jacqueline is not the average chick – and how she handles Marcus lets us know she is no novice to love. If we read between the lines of this script, Jacqueline was gamed by some man before, and that shaped her into the emotionless vixen she is when we meet her. Her life is all work, and men are there for play and nothing more. As hard as she seems, the wall she stands behind to protect herself also keeps her from a man who really wants to love her. It’s a no-win situation.

Stay tuned for Part II coming soon…

4 Comments on "Boomerang: Lessons In Love Part I"

  1. Mr.CEO Jul 12, 2010 · 5:56 pm

    I LOVE THIS! this is one of my most fav movies, and to this day, I still look at a woman’s feet to determine a few things about her character(#4), HA!

  2. John Calvin Byrd III Jul 13, 2010 · 5:12 pm

    I love this article!
    Re: #6
    Yes, men will work for what they want, but we also get turned off REALLY quick by a woman who plays hard to get. We DO have a self worth and we feel that once we let you know that we’re interested, you should either step up or shut us down. Games are wack.

    If you like what you see, speak up!

    Men are goal oriented and don’t like to waste time. Women, you can lose a good man playing hard to get!

  3. Marla Vanwyhe Mar 22, 2011 · 7:30 pm

    Of course, what a splendid blog and instructive posts, I will bookmark your site.Have an awsome day!

  4. Daniella Apr 27, 2011 · 7:24 pm

    I simply love this blog! bookmarked…and thank you!

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