Thursday, April 25, 2013

"Let's Shake on It": The movie; the after party.

Saturday April 20th was one hell of a night.  It is not everyday that your humble nogostreetbeat blogger treats herself to a fine film and an after party, but that is what happened to me. 

Last night,  The See It Be it production of writer/director Cornell Ford's romantic comedy "Let's Shake on It" debuted at the Genessee Theatre in Waukegan, Illinois.  The theatre was packed and people were brimming with anticipation and I was glad I got there in time to find a seat.

The story begins with Selene (played honestly and with real emotion by Shaquita Blanks) and Louis ( played by the very handsome William Anderson)  who in the beginning are very happy and in a good place in there relationship.  Things change between them when Louis loses his job, and has to depend on Selene for support. 

Louis has dreams of being a star in Los Angeles.  Selene supports that dream, as well as herself, and her daughter while paying the bills.  After Selene buys tickets for Louis to fly to Los Angeles, he loses his job, has a pity party with himself, gets drunk and cheats on Selene with a girl who gives him chlamydia.  In turn, he must take antibiotics for a week and not have sex with anybody.  As you can imagine, this further complicates matters between Louis and Selene.  They grow apart, and she kicks him out.

Two years pass, and we meet Louis' best friend Brian (played by Jarrett "JG" Glover) and his girlfriend Trina (played by Tia Pratcher).  Hilarity ensues when a friendly wager is placed between these two lovers.  And then they shake on it, hence the title of the film.

I usually don't go for romantic comedies.  They just are too predictable and unrealistic.  Some girl is waiting for some guy to save her from her circumstances.  Well, life ain't like that, and that is why it is easy to enjoy a Cornell Ford film.  Aside from identifying with the settings and people in the film, the viewer can identify with what the story throws at every character.

No, "Let's Shake on It" is not "Pretty Woman"  for the black man and it is not another regurgitated piece of Tyler Perry fluff.  Cornell has a distinct voice and vision for each of his films.  Just like his first feature length drama "Music's Son",  "Let's Shake on It"  doesn't sugar coat anything.  Just like life the film is peppered with humor and realism. 

Now, I am not known for giving away major plot points and I am not about to start now.  But, you must have questions, right?  Question that I might be able to anticipate, right?  Namely what happens.  Who wins the bet?  What is the bet?  Do Louis and Selene reunite?  Well, I'll never tell.

What I will tell you is that Cornell Ford tells a real story with real people dealing with issues that everyone deals with on the daily.  And, in reality, happy endings are few and far between.  But, fairy tales do come true but only if a person will go on faith that things will turn out alright.  And that is the lesson I took from "Let's Shake On It".

The after party:  At Big Ed's Bar and Grill was smoking hot.  The drinks were flowing and there was a positive vibe in the air being exuded by all.  With DJ Cliff on the ones and twos, the party went on long after I left until the break of dawn.  I am looking forward to Cornell Ford's next project, and to seeing more of the cast succeed in all of the endeavors.  Oh readers, it ain't over for anybody.  Not by a long shot.

For information on how to purchase "Music's Son" or "Let's Shake on It" visit: .