6.5/10
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Brown Sugar (2002)

PG-13 | | Romance, Comedy, Drama | 11 October 2002 (USA)
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0:32 | Trailer
Friends since childhood, a magazine editor and a hip-hop record executive stumble into romantic territory.

Director:

Rick Famuyiwa

Writers:

Michael Elliot (story), Michael Elliot (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Taye Diggs ... Andre Romulus 'Dre' Ellis
Sanaa Lathan ... Sidney 'Syd' Shaw
Yasiin Bey ... Chris 'Cav' Anton Vichon (as Mos Def)
Nicole Ari Parker ... Reese Marie Wiggam Ellis
Boris Kodjoe ... Kelby Dawson
Queen Latifah ... Francine
Wendell Pierce ... Simon
Erik Weiner ... Ren
Reg Wyns Reg Wyns ... Ten (as Reggi Wyns)
Melissa Martinez Melissa Martinez ... Meghan
Aaliyyah Hill Aaliyyah Hill ... Young Sidney
Marc John Jefferies ... Young Dre
Venida Evans ... Older Woman
Breece Wilson Breece Wilson ... Woman
Brette Taylor ... Woman 2
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Storyline

This romantic comedy centers on a romance between an A&R exec, Dre, at a hip-hop label and a magazine editor, Sidney, who have known each other since childhood.. They find themselves drifting towards being more than friends, even as Dre is engaged, and Sidney starts being wooed by a handsome basketball player. Written by PhatBleek

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When did you first fall in love with hip-hop? See more »

Genres:

Romance | Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 October 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Used to Love Her See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,738,882, 13 October 2002

Gross USA:

$27,363,891

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$28,316,451
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Idris Elba auditioned for the part of Kelby Dawson. See more »

Goofs

When Syd and Francine are unpacking and talking, the books that Francine are putting away appear and disappear with each shot. See more »

Quotes

Dre: One minute you talkin' about you-you want things to change and the next minute you talking about you want things to stay the same.
Sidney 'Syd' Shaw: I do want things to change, I just don't like *how* things have changed. And and and... and I didn't know this is how it would turn out.
Dre: And that's why we need to look *back*. Okay, 'coz if we look back, then it will make us see things, the mistakes we've made, things that we never knew were there before. And if we just... can *stop*, then maybe we can find that ...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Both "De La Soul" and "Method Man" are credited in the opening credits and not in the end credits. Therefore, the IMDb ordering uses the opening credits first and fills in the rest with the end credits. See more »

Connections

References The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

The Unit
Written by Rowdy Rahz (as R. Brinson), Frank Ferraro (as F. Ferraro), M. Hagler, Queen Latifah (as D. Owens), Quran Pender (as Q. Pender), D. Pitman, Robert Scalere Jr. (as R. Scalere), TaShon Spence (as T. Spence)
Performed by The Unit
(Queen Latifah, Grizzley, G-Fella, Quran Pender (as Storm), Rowdy Rahz, Aposouls)
Courtesy of Flavor Unit Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I still love H.E.R.
10 February 2006 | by dee.reidSee all my reviews

They're both approaching 30 and have found success in their different but equally demanding careers. He's a hip-hop producer/exec, and she's a magazine editor for XXL. Their relationship is defined by their mutual love of hip-hop, and for each other. His name is Dre (Taye Diggs) and her name Sidney (Sanaa Lathan).

It was three years ago that I fell in love with H.E.R. (a girl named Katie) and offered her "Brown Sugar" as a Valentine's Day gift and for her birthday (which was two weeks later). For most who fell in love with H.E.R., hip-hop started back in the '70s with DJ Kool Herc driving around the Bronx flatlands blaring the sound of a new era on his speakers. For me, I fell in love with H.E.R., hip-hop, the first time I heard "Walk This Way" by Run-D.M.C. and Aerosmith, which was recorded in 1986.

Director Rick Famuyiwa has a passion for the music, and it seems to have culminated with "Brown Sugar," a film that some have called an urban version of "When Harry Met Sally" with a hip-hop beat. Sidney begins nearly every interview with the same question: How did you fall in love with hip-hop? For her, it was July 18, 1984, when she discovered a music genre with break dancing, DJing, emceeing, and graffiti tagging - the four elements of hip-hop.

It's the passion for the rhythm and the beat that brought Sidney and Dre together as children. Early in their time in college, they both considered giving it a go at romance, but Sidney decided it wouldn't be right. Her close friend Francine (Queen Latifah) warns she's turning into a Terry McMillian character. Now, as adults with careers and goals, their romance lives have taken radically different courses. Dre has become engaged to Reese (Nicole Ari Parker), who is beautiful and not some monster as movies like this would require. There is a sense of sincerity in a scene where she and Sidney confront one another about Dre.

Dre, meanwhile, who works for Millennium Records, has been assigned by his boss (Wendell Pierce), who wants MTV rotation, to produce a pair of jokesters named Ren and Ten and who call themselves the "Hip-Hop Dalmations" - "they represent that whole unity (that's 'u.n.i.t.y.') thing." Dre quits Millennium after this fiasco and decides to start his own label by first signing Chris Shawn (Mos Def), who he believes is a real artist. Dre and Sidney both realize they have to keep their feelings for one another on the down-low, especially since she is now involved with professional ballplayer Kelby Dawson (Boris Kodjoe).

"Brown Sugar" works as a pretty sweet romantic comedy that also doubles as a metaphor for the loss of dignity in hip-hop. Sid and Dre's being in love is paralleled against hip-hop's acceptance into the mainstream, and its loss of any meaningful qualities. They both feel the beat, and the passion since that day in July 1984 when they fell in love with the same thing, and its growth over the years. But despite the over-commercialization of my favorite music genre, one thing is certain:

I still love H.E.R.

7/10


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