Widows: A Dysfunctional Interracial Relationship on Film (Again)

Ok, I’m just going to bust right out of the gate and say this: I am tired of this crap. More often than not, when you see an interracial relationship in movies or on TV, it is dysfunctional. I remember way back in the 90s when I saw Jungle Fever. I thought it was another love story (I was still ignorant about Spike Lee’s modus operandi to expose America’s society’s racism and colorism). Turns out that it was really an exercise in sociological reprimanding.
But let me back up. Back to Widows. Here’s the trailer:

Ok, so now I’ve shown that. Heads up: there are spoilers in this post…..so you’ve been warned!

When Widows first came out in 2018 I was immediately attracted to the strong female cast and the premise of a thriller/action film. However my personal life was nuts, and I hadn’t gone to the movie theater since the twins were born. So it fell off of my radar. But I saw it pop up on Amazon Prime — so I treated myself to a movie night in my living room after the kiddos were sleep.

Overall it wasn’t a horrible movie. There was a nice mix of good acting, interesting plot twists, and a bit of action. However I just cringed at the portrayal of the main protagonist’s, Veronica’s (Viola Davis), marriage to Harry (Liam Neeson). At first you had a lot of hope for them. They seemed to be incredibly in love and there were several glimpses into some of their more sensual moments. But that all comes undone in a glorious way when it is discovered that Harry isn’t dead at all. And in fact is planning to start a new life with a White woman — all while watching Veronica struggle and be broken in the process.

Several things just slap you as being so cliche in this movie. Apparently they had a son; who was killed in an utterly ridiculous traffic stop by a police officer. The Black bad guys who sneer at Veronica about forgetting where she comes from. The other White bad guys who get to use the n-word in private company.

But forgot all of these details for a moment. The entire angle with having Harry fake his death and still be alive seems….just so ‘extra’. It would have been a fine film if he was in fact dead. The focus could have been more on these incredible women who had their lives change overnight and in their collective ignorance over their husbands’ line of work, now had to come together in survival mode.

So you walk away from this movie with the final lesson that a White man cannot possibly truly love a Black woman. There’s always some insurmountable issue. It is just too much to ask the average White man to love a Black woman unconditionally.