“Lesson Before Love” is about four unfulfilled singles journey towards love, and finding themselves along the way.
Writer / Director – Dui Jarrod
Director of Photography – Tyler Dixon
Executive Producer – Scotty Singleton
Producers – Dui Jarrod, Tyler Dixon, James Cole
Cast – Peyton Coles, Kenneth Brown Jr., Shamea Morton, Reece Odum
Lesson Before Love
“…If we are going to toast to something, let’s toast to the people we are meant to be. Not some disenchanted figment of who we want to be. To the people we are afraid to face.“- Eric
Lesson Before Love follows four individuals through trials and soul searching in pursuit of their “lesson before love”. As the story unfolds as to why Cullen [Peyton Coles], Eric [Kenneth Brown], Janae [Reece Odum], and Alexis [Shamea Morton] truly are single you can’t help but evaluate your own relationship standing. Director, Dui Jarrod, shows that though we all make selfless decisions and choices in relationships, we need to not lose ourselves at the same time.
The film introduces to two sets of best friends when their love life is at an all time low, whether they chose to admit it or not. Though Eric and Cullen have known each other since high school, their interactions show that Eric tends to take the backseat. Cullen is an aspiring Editorial Director that can’t seem to take the leap of faith for his own dreams. He is very dependent yet unappreciative of his best friend Eric. This becomes evident early on when details of how the unconventional friendship came about and the secret of his profound love for music production come to light. Though their friendship is far from perfect there is a genuine sense of love there. Now Janae and Alexis on the other hand have been joined at the hip since college. These women have encouraged one another throughout their friendship. Success seemed to be their main goal. That is until Janae, a psychiatrist, met her fiancé. Alexis, a successful dentist, has a past that haunts her every day. Yet she covers it up with spunky, boy crazed attitude; a façade that has become so routine to her. A twisted set of events brought these four singles together, for reasons that would later change their lives.
Each actor brought something unique to this film. The on screen chemistry was undeniable. All of the characters played their roles brilliantly. There is no doubt in my mind that everyone will be able to identify with at least one character. They each hold a special role that is so common in today’s society. I appreciated the development and growth of each person’s story. Though in completely different ways, the characters learned a much-needed life lesson.
The combination of monologues and music are what truly made this film relatable. The soundtrack meshed flawlessly with the storyline. Melodies and lyrics enhanced sections to another level. From the intimate conversations to the investor’s meeting each scene brought out feelings from within. In one-way or another I saw myself in the eyes of each one of the singles. The raw emotion that every character exuded brought a sense of reality to the film.
Jarrod did an excellent job at bringing stigmas and stereotypes when it comes to love in the black community to the forefront. By exposing these barriers and breaking them down, this motion picture provides a sense of hope. The cast was exceptional and complimented the storyline well. Through the tears, arguments, laughter and lies there is a clear message portrayed: We all have that one lesson we need to learn before we are truly able to love.