Boomerang: Lessons In Love Part II

The Lessons That Film Taught Me About Relationships

I know some folks are chomping at the bit for the rest of the love lessons I learned from Boomerang. The wait is over!

11) A woman that truly loves you will not discuss your sex with other women.

My mother was the first to share this love rule with me and the way it plays out in the film is exactly why she teaches against it. The first clue we get that Jacqueline (Robin Givens) has no true intention of taking Marcus (Eddie Murphy) seriously is when she tells Angela (Halle Berry) about their tryst in New Orleans. As expected, Angela’s already developing curiosity about Marcus is piqued and she sets the wheels in motion. When a woman really loves a man she knows that sharing the intimate details about their sex life with other women will only make those women curious. It serves no purpose and it’s none of their business.

12) Sex in the workplace should be avoided. Period.

It’s happened to all of us. You come to work one day and are introduced to your sexy and single new co-worker. No matter how delicious they are, starting an intimate relationship with them is the worst possible thing that could occur. Unless the two of you have concluded that you are soul mates and a long-term commitment is on the horizon, a relationship with a colleague can be a setup for disaster at work. If it works out then you have to try to keep the whole staff out of your business. If it doesn’t, now you have to be cool with this person without anger/disgust/lingering feelings getting in the way of work, otherwise your job could be on the line. Case in point: Marcus’ sabbatical after realizing Jacqueline doesn’t want more than casual sex at her convenience with him.

13) Heartbreak is all-consuming. It takes work to get over it.

Like Marcus, many of us want to “Sit at home, stare at the wall, and listen to Sade” after we’ve had our hearts broken. It’s easy to wallow in sorrow for yourself after you’ve been hurt. It’s worth the work, however, of getting up, getting back out there and trying again in order to move past the last relationship. Besides, what’s the point of dwelling on someone who isn’t thinking about you? It won’t bring them back.

14) Men are hunters; women are prey. Let the man chase…                                                            

My grandmother always says, “When a man wants you, he’ll tell you and you’ll have something. If you’re doing all the wanting, you have nothing.” Angela becomes emotionally vulnerable in her relationship with Marcus the moment she is readily available to him at all times. Equipped with the knowledge of his prior player status, she should have known better than to move in with him. Marcus gives her hints of not being on the same page by not acknowledging that they are living together when Jacqueline calls. This also leads to his cheating on her. I’m not justifying his actions, but the moment a woman gets too comfortable in her position with a man (especially while dating), is the moment he gets bored and is back on the hunt.

15) Being too forward is a definite turn-off.

No better example of this in the film then through the character, Strange (played by Grace Jones). Though her forthright nature was appealing to some, like Nasty Nelson (played by Geoffrey Holder),  her gratuitous use of the word “pussy” got her nowhere with Marcus.

16) Men, you can never justify cheating to women.

No matter what the circumstances are, cheating hurts and can never be justified to the party that gets hurt. Women will never accept the excuse of “it’s a man thing” and it works only to cause us to mistrust the next man. And when a woman is good to you, she’ll never understand why you strayed. In spite of having a good woman at home, and despite knowing Jacqueline wasn’t looking for anything other than casual sex, Marcus allowed himself to backtrack with her once he got his swag back. The temptation to bed Jacqueline again, this time without an emotional connection was great revenge for Marcus – but it meant losing a lover and friend in Angela.

17) Never mention something your ex, mistress, etc. said in the midst of an argument with your current partner.

If you are already in the midst of a disagreement, this just fuels the fire. It’s beyond disrespectful and it will get you slapped. For Angela, Marcus’ mentioning Jacqueline’s name while they’re arguing is insulting and embarrassing. What Marcus fails to realize before he cheats is that these two women work together. Can you imagine how uncomfortable that first interaction between them will be?

18) Ladies, though some of us dislike saying it, men need to feel needed.

A lot of my single sister friends never want to say they need a man. If they say that and never find one, that means they will always be incomplete. I totally understand their perspective – but what I know after being in a long-term relationship is that men have to feel needed in order to stick around for the long-term. After losing Angela and getting back into Jacqueline’s bed, Marcus finds himself bored once again. Why? Because he’s been here before, been through this before, and knows it’s going nowhere. What’s the point in sexually exhausting himself with a woman who doesn’t want or need him? Jacqueline makes that clear from the onset, and once the novelty of sex with her has worn off, Marcus realizes what he misses: being truly desired and loved.

19) Long-term love requires the couple to be on the same page – and sexual compatibility is a must.

I truly believe there is somebody for everybody and this is best displayed by Gerard’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jackson, played by John Witherspoon and Bebe Drake. Even though Gerard is embarrassed by them, they aren’t at all embarrassed by each other. Their sexual chemistry is so hot and heavy they have to sneak away from the dinner table for a little taste, much to the chagrin of Gerard. And when Mr. Jackson goes into his tirade of “Bang, bang, bang!” all his wife can say is, “Ooh Daddy please!”. They compliment one another perfectly.

20) Life is a journey not meant to be taken alone.

When we find ourselves lonely, we look for something to mask that and we hide behind it. So often my single friends (both male and female) get heavily involved in their work and careers to stave off the sense of loneliness they feel from not having a companion. In the final scene of the film, we see Angela has acquired this ability: she is no longer the sweet, smiling woman we first meet, but a cold, stiff woman who Marcus calls out for “hiding behind her work”. However she sees it as “taking care of her business” – she doesn’t feel she can depend on anyone other than herself at this point, especially not a man.  Despite her best effort, she gives in to him because she loves him and misses his companionship. For all the drama they experience, there is something between them worth holding on to. What I took from this scene when I first saw the film and that resonates with me now is what Marcus and Angela understand at the end: Life is that much sweeter when shared with someone else.

From 1992 until now, the film Boomerang maintains its relevance regarding male/female relationships. Though everyone will experience something different, many of these lessons can be applied to a myriad of situations. If you find yourself sharing similarities with Marcus, Angela, or Jacqueline, apply a lesson to your relationship and learn from their mistakes. Good luck in love!

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