Using the movie Love Jones I will talk about the characteristics of male/male and female/female relationship as they are portrayed in the film.
Then I will talk about how different the female/male relationship is and focus primarily on their communication styles. There is some harsh vocabulary included in my essay but only in quotations that I have taken from the movie itself to communicate what was going on in the scenes I have chose to talk about.Female/female relationshipJosie and NinaNina is one of the main characters in this movie and Josie is her best friend. A scene where their friendship is characterized is one where Josie and Nina are riding in a cab. Josie gets upset with Nina (briefly) when she finds out that Nina has had sex with Darius (the other main character) on the first night they went out. The haste in which they have had sex does not bother her as much as the fact that Nina does not tell her.
This example is a direct correlation to one of the themes of womens friendship that intimacy is cultivated through dialogue. This suggest that women build closeness in their friendships dialogue and by Nina not telling, it breaks the code of intimacy in a way. The establishment of a new relationship something like this that is an important part of Ninas life, and excluding Josie from that is what is troubling her. Even though I do not believe that to be true in this example, that can be argued as a reason Nina doesnt share.So, once Josie gets over the initial shock of the news, she wants Nina to tell all the details how big, how long, everything! The two women then begin to discuss the sexual relationship as only women can do. Nina says, It was like his *censored* just talked to me! Josie replies with a sigh, Whatd it say? Only true friends can talk like that !There was another theme of womens friendships in this example that women serve a therapeutic function for each other. Josie apparently has had some bad relationships in her life so she seems to live through the experiences that Nina has.
Im not sure how healthy that is in real life, but it seems to be comforting to Josie in this movie.Even the closest women friends do not talk about everything. Nina has just gotten out of a long and unproductive relationship with another man and the thought of jumping right back into that is too much for her. So when she says that This is no love thang; me and Darius are just kickin it. I think she means it.
She does not want to contradict something she said earlier in the movie to Josie. She said she isnt going to make the same mistake twice. And that mistake is falling in love because as Nina says, it is as played out as the A-track.In another scene the two women are at the Sanctuary, which is the club where Nina met Darius. They come to the club straight from the train station because Nina wants to see if Darius is there.
Darius and Nina have gone through a separation period so she is anxious to see him but doesnt want to call him this soon so she just hopes to run into him. He isnt there and Nina is really tired and wants to go home. She never comes out and says that is her motivation but her girl knows her and she knows her motivation. Josie just validates Nina wanting to leave by saying Yeah, and there is NOT ONE cutie, in the house anyway! It doesnt seem like Josie really wants to leave but she will because her friend is ready to go.Then when they are leaving the club, Hollywood runs outside and stops them. He offers them a ride in his car (which happens to be a hearse) and the two friends can not help looking and each other in agreement and burst out in laughter. They are laughing even harder as they walk away and do not pay him any attention.
One theme of womens friendships is that it is talk centered. I would agree that a great deal of the relationship between Nina and Josie is dialogue but this instance is a perfect example of how the closeness can exist to a point where it is not even necessary to speak a word. They have a shared understanding of this situation, which makes it easy to laugh and carry on with what they were doing.The intimacy in womens friendships also is such that a close friend can help things come out of you that would never come out otherwise. Nina dated Darius in this movie but during the time they broke up, her friend encouraged her to hang out with one of Darius friends Hollywood. Hollywood does in fact try to take Nina out on date, but I dont think that she would have gone if she did not get the idea and confirmation that it was acceptable from her friend.Male/male relationshipSavon and DariusIn Chris Inmans Article, Friendships Among Men the authors makes some interesting comments about characteristics of Male friendships.
Some of these apply to the characters Darius in Savon in this movie. The key feature of this article is the assumption that unlike female friends men are more likely to engage in activities rather than in conversations about the relationship.(Inman, 106) By this he means that in order for men to know that they are good friends they do stuff together, they do not have conversations about the fact they are friends.Darius and Savon play pool in one scene of this movie. While them playing pool does in fact confirm part of Inmans theory, it also does not account for the four other times you see these friends talking and not doing any activity.
When they are at the pool hall Darius has just had sex with Nina for the first time and while they are playing he asks Savon, Do you believe you are with your soul mate? This may be a sore subject for Savon because at this point in the movie Savon and his wife Troy are separated. They do not ever talk about why she left, you just see her leaving and taking their son with her. They dont talk about it much but then Savon questions Darius if any of this talk about soul mates has to do with his new female friend.Darius tells Savon about his sexual experience with Nina. He says that she put it on him alluding to some sort of spell she must have put on him because he was mesmerized. It must have been a spell because in the morning he was making cheese omelettes for her. Savon jokingly tells Darius Boy you better put your name on that because its better than Michael Jordans come back.
Darius is a little defensive about that and replies This aint no love thang we just kickin it.This is all interesting because it defines the limits to which they can be mutually exclusive. When it comes to being vulnerable sexually Darius has no problems letting Savon know that Nina put it on him.
But as far as her being his soul mate and describing for Savon the emotional connection he feels for this girl, which is out of the picture at this point. Although male friends seldom explicitly discuss their friendship or their feelings for each other, closeness exists-unspoken but strong. (Inman, 107) These two men are playing pool and talking about the women in their lives. One discloses some of his emotions about his wife who has left him and the other talks about an amazing sexual experience that he has had with a woman who he is too scared to admit he believes is his soul mate. These men are close friends but closeness in doing as Inman calls it is not the only indicator of that.In another scene, Savon and Darius are having a few beers in a bar.
The conversation this time begins again with a sexual connotation. Darius has just found out that Nina is going to New York to see if she still loves her ex-boyfriend. Darius is really trying to stoke his own ego because he is talking about the fact that if Ole boy was doing his job in the first place why is he there. The tone of the conversation is a little more bitter than it was the first time as Darius says things like I put it on HER and I steal, I dont get stole on. Then there is a turning point in the tone of the conversation when he puts his emotions out there and he says to Savon These women are killing me slowly.
It wouldnt be so bad if I didnt think she is the one. Savon nearly chokes when he says that. Savon remembers an earlier comment about Darius and Nina just kickin it, and what asked happened to that. There is an implied understanding that Savon realizes there is more to the relationship than what Darius actually comes out and says.Another characteristic that Inman believes characterizes mens friendships is just that implied understanding that Savon and Darius have. There is no need to belabor the point when you know that there is more to the subject. He also things that the openness and trust in mens friendships establish an environment that supports individual growth.
Because Savon did not make fun of Darius about being open emotionally to this woman a link in their friendship was gained. They are able to help each other learn about their individual selves. One more of Inmans characteristics is in this scene. Once Darius realizes that Savon is about to choke because he called Nina THE ONE, Darius flips in to joke mode and was saying that he was just kidding and goes back to the hard role. So Savon, not really believing that he was joking says to Darius Let me see ya wallet, because it must be BAD MUTHA FUCKER on it. Inman says phrases, jokes and gestures that carry subtle meanings of acceptance and understanding and significant expressions of affection. Savon uses this comment to make Darius think he believes him and to help stroke his ego.
Inman would say that comment has value for the strength of their friendship. It is in some ways an affirmation of the relationship.I think it is important to note that after some dramatic scene with Nina and Darius, the following scene is with Darius and Savon discussing what has happened.
First, the scene when they are playing pool after he first has sex with Nina and then this scene. I think the filmmakers do that partially to emphasize the importance of these male friendships. Male/Female RelationshipDarius and NinaApparently the two have just got finished having sex because he has on a towel and she is wrapped in a blanket laying on the couch.
Nina begins by telling him that she is going to NY for a few weeks to do some job hunting and to handle some unfinished business. (Darius translates-some dude!) She tells him that she used to be in a relationship and hasnt seen her ex in a while. She tells him they used to be close and tells him she is only telling him because she cares about him and isnt trying to play him.
She expects him to be upset, but he is very cool and nonchalant about the whole situation.Darius plays the cool role, Do what you have to do I dont have any rings on your finger WE are just kickin it right We just friends right?When he is with Nina in this scene there is very little response on his part. He may say all of 6 statements total in response to the whole lay out of the situation that Nina has done. She does a lot of explaining and justifying and he just listens and responds back with short phrases like We are just friends right?The communitive style in this scene really talks about difference between between men and women and what is called rapport v. report talk. Nina goes into lengthy detail about the whole situation. She explains everything to him and he gives her a short answer.
Nina engages in what is called rapport talk. This type of talk works to explain all the details of a situation as not to confuse anything and make sure that all the information is communicated. Darius displays report talk.
This is a very common in masculine speech and is a short version where only the bare minimums are said about a given subject.Marvin and NinaWhen Nina goes to New York to handle some unfinished business, part of that business is Marvin. He is her ex and she is trying to decide what to do about her feelings for him so she comes up here to stay with him. Scene opens up Marvin is home (apparently from work) in the kitchen looking for some Toasted Oats when Nina comes in after job hunting. The first thing he does is fuss about the cereal and how she finished the box this morning before she left.
The two have both had hard days and where Nina wants him to ask her about her day and at least say hello, Marvin begins their conversation by arguing. This one argument builds onto another one that has been on going between the two.Marvin doesnt want Nina to have to keep looking for a job, as he is trying to explain that to her, she keeps finishing out his sentences. That is beginning to annoy him and they get down to the real problem when Nina saysI dont even know why Im here? And the only thing still left between her and him is all these years.Marvin doesnt refute it, he just says Im going out for some muther*censored*in toasted oats and mumbles some more stuff on the way out of the house.
The next morning, Nina is gone without any words of goodbye, but the engagement ring that Marvin had given her was left on his pinky when he woke up to an empty bed.In this scene there are a few places where the communication styles were conflicting. Nina wanted Marvin to be open and welcoming when she came home from work.
He was abrasive and demanding, which was not what she wanted at that moment.Also, he was telling her what to do. He wanted her to sit around at home and not work and it was no conducive to her plans.My analysis of these Female/Male relationships is that there is so many problems in them because the ways of communicating are conflicting. I think that in part the break down can also be because people are not willing to try to make the individual situations work. Social Issues