In 2001, a blockbuster film was released with a complete all-star cast. Created about four years before Tyler Perry’s first studio film, The Brothers serves as a quasi prelude to any of Tyler Perry’s films. Back in the day, you didn’t really see too many movies centered around successful black men, well this movie is chock-full of them. You’ve got Morris Chestnut as a pediatrician, Bill Bellamy as a lawyer, D.L. Hughley as a teacher, and Shermar Moore as a high-powered executive. Under the tutelage of my mom, I grew up thinking a successful black man looked and acted like Ben Carson’s. (By the way, whatever happened to that guy?) So seeing these guys: muscular, good-looking, cool, shit-talkers, plus wearing their hats backwards and hooping reimagined what a successful black man looked like to me. I especially admired Morris Chestnut’c character: I think I actually saw The Brothers after Like Mike, so Chestnut was like a God on the screen to me, and represented a model of success that I decided to mirror at a young age.
One of my favorite scenes in this movie occurs on the basketball court.
Finding this location at this hallowed court was not an easy one by any stretch of the imagination. It’s literally nowhere online; if I hadn’t found a promotional of someone playing on the court, I damn near wouldn’t have recognized it. However through tedious research and google mapping, I did find this beautiful basketball court, and boy let me tell you: It felt really special being there. Although the movie is rooted in men struggling with the cluster of romance and responsibility, like Terry (Moore) I brought my girl with me to the location.
The tables that the fellas are sitting on are no longer there, but you know what is there just like 100 ft away?
YUP! I was tickled with glee when I saw that there was a bench in the same exact spot that Morris Chestnut met Gabrielle Union. I genuinely felt like Morris Chestnut sitting next to that beautiful woman. If you’re a fan of the movie, I recommend that you do it! It’s a surreal experience.
This movie was a pleasant commercial success; it was a low budget film on 6 million dollars, but it raked in nearly 28 million at the box office! I think the reason why is that although the central cast is male, it doesn’t assume a misogynist tone, unlike one’s before it such as Booty Call or The Wood to a lesser extent. Plus it portrays black men in a positive light, which was ironically a major deviation from Chestnut’s break out role ten years earlier: Boyz N The Hood.
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