Nothing gets me in a more comfortable, chic and cozy space than curling up with a glass of wine to enjoy a romantic comedy. It’s a bonus when the flick includes an all-star ensemble!
Dating, marriage and relationships has long been a hot topic. So, of course, I was sure to tune into the Lifetime original movie, Love By The 10th Date, starring Megan Good (Gabriel), Kelly Rowland (Margot), Keri Hilson (Billie), Kellee Stewart (Nell) and Brandon T. Jackson (Dante’). I had been seeing the trailer for what seemed like forever, but nothing could have prepared me for the character twists in this film. Buckle up!
The Character Breakdown
I can appreciate the story which includes a group of friends who are mutually employed at a high profile magazine, Nina.
Gabriel, the nucleus of the bunch, is having a little trouble in the love department; unable to get to at least date 3 or 4 with the same guy and wonders if something is wrong with her. While Gabby is having trouble finding love, Margot is practicing celibacy until she knows that she has really found it, but her abstinence is up in the air when she finds herself smitten with a notable rap artist who she has been assigned to interview by the founder of the mag. Nell, who is interested in finding love, does indeed find it; but the gag is, her soul mate is bisexual (clutched my pearls!) and she is torn with continuing on with him or calling it off because of the fear he’d leave her for a man if the right one comes along. Billie is clearly a gorgeous woman with an equally gorgeous husband and together they have an open marriage (just foolish) to her husband’s compromise who actually only wants her. However, things get tricky when he breaks the rules and becomes intimate with someone that Billie knows. Lastly, Dante,’ who holds a bit of rank at Nina, and is a self-proclaimed “lady’s man,” happens to have deeper feelings than discussed for Gabby, but not speaking up has put him in jeopardy of losing out on his true love.
The Story of the Characters (Juicy!)
Admittedly, Megan Good’s character Gabriel (Gabby) was hilarious! I may be wrong, but I cannot think of a role that Good has portrayed where she had to nail a humorous personality (correct me if I’m wrong) and she did a fantastic job with this one. It was refreshing to see her in such a bubbly, ridiculously-goofy role far different from what we’ve seen of her. So many successful women identify with the revolving door of unsuccessful dating, which makes this character relatable. But how often do women and men cling to the one guy or gal who is of absolutely no good for them?
A few or so years ago, I was on a three-peat with a guy and it came up in a conversation while visiting my grandmother. After confirming that it was the same person as twice before she said, “baby do what you want to do but after the first time it rarely ever works out. You young folks ought to listen sometime.” Goodness she was full of wisdom! This is exactly what Gabby needed to hear.
In the process of being a part of a story that Margot pitched to Maureen (owner of the mag) where Gabby would get a $5,000 stipend if she could get to the 10th date with the same guy within 60 days, Gabby becomes easily detoured by a former NFL baller boyfriend who previously had a restraining order out on her (insert solemn laughter here).
Call me boring, but who acts up enough to have a restraining order taken out on them and then goes back to the one who filed it? I hollered! Anywho, Chris comes back into her life the day after she receives an impromptu kiss from friend and co/worker Dante’ which was clearly a breath of fresh air for her as she wept in his arms because all of the dates she had gone on after the challenge ended in disaster and subsequently not a 10th date. But, like so many often do, the counterfeit came in like a thief in the night causing her to forget all about Dante’. Place a pin here , I’ll come back to this.
Now, Nell, sweet sweet Nell. Everyone needs and wants love, love isn’t one-size-fits-all, but some things are far too unorthodox for me. Nell meets a handsome guy while out with Gabby, clicks with him immediately only to find out that he is definitely into her, but he is bisexual! Nell falls for Freddy but began having reservations about a stable future with him because of his sexuality. Look here, I don’t condemn people about their sexual choices that I may not agree with but getting romantically involved with a man who is bisexual and I know it is not about to occur. Just no! Nonetheless, despite her initial reservations, she decides to plead for his forgiveness after Gabby encourages her to accept the love that Freddy has to offer even if the packaging is not what it looks like. She wins him back and tells him they should get married and he agrees.
Billie and Kevin, such a handsome couple, but we all know what seems one way to the outsider is a totally different truth to the insiders. I was stunned to learn that they have an open marriage and all I can do is wonder why-o-why? But the twist to this nontraditional arrangement is that it is the husband who is longing to have his wife all to himself and because he can’t, and she is not willing to be faithful, it creates a rift in their union. This is what happens when we settle for whatever reason we are settling. This man preferred to not share his wife but because he wanted her so badly. He married her anyway and even dibbled and dabbled in extra marital relationships because it was allowed. However, he broke the rules by getting involved with a woman she knew. Billie is hurt by his selection and he’s hurt because she is not willing to have a traditional relationship. Is the open marriage concept a means to share marital-like responsibilities like, bills, insurance, taking care of home while still behaving like you’re single? I am honestly wondering because it makes no sense to me. Why marry if others will benefit from the same perks as your mate? Somebody tell me please.
Margot who is quite the classy laid back lady of the circle is celibate and is forced to conduct an interview with rap artist, “Big Stunna,” whose music she has some issues with. As they sit down for an initial conversation, he literally picks her apart. Don’t you hate when a guy is low-key shooting his shot and is trying to be all in touch with YOUR feelings/flaws and confronts you with them? Sir, I know what my issues are, and no it’s not intriguing to me that you know them too. It just tells me you have dealt with an array of women with similar flaws so you know how we work. No brownie points for that but you get a handshake for the effort. Now I will point out that Margot jumped to conclusions when she showed up to an outing Stunna invited her to. This is something else that is done far too often. Making an uninformed assumption! Get the details before being irrational. Stunna pops up to the office to see why Margot is ignoring his calls and didn’t act on the invite (he didn’t know she had shown up to the party). She tells him about her displeasing view of him tossing money to a gyrating stripper and he defended himself saying that it was his birthday party and her assumptions were entirely wrong. With a little bit of egg on her face and clearly doing some inward reasoning, she chased after him as he was leaving to try to patch things up – and she does. These two are the epitome of opposites attracting, but apparently it happens this way in real life too.
Now back to Gabby and her lack of discernment in men (haven’t we all been there). With Chris returning at a time when countless dates have gone awry, Gabby presumes that it is a sign that he is “the one” who was in her path all along. Somewhere between a rough break up and a restraining order I would think this was a bad idea, but I digress. The two of them began having the time of their lives together going on multiple dates per week. With every new date, Gabby’s progress is tracked at the office on a life-sized board for the entire office to view. However, on date 9, things take a predictable turn (I say predictable because I was rooting for Dante’). Gabby innocently mentions the 10th-date goal that is happening at the office while Chris is notably annoyed that she is talking through the movie they’re watching at his home. He finally gives her his undivided attention asking her to elaborate on this whole 10th date nonsense.
After she explains it all, he swerves her and in a nutshell tells her the 10th date means nothing to him and does not equate to a relationship as far as he is concerned. In fact, he lets our sweet, hilarious Gabby know that he sees them as nothing more than friends and sought her out because he was feeling a lack of excitement after retiring from the NFL. Ouch! (Sir!) She left his home with her dignity – well, actually her dignity didn’t come in until she was on her way out of the door because she ripped a couple of pillows and broke a few glasses right before she exited. Ladies – please, let’s not vandalize people’s things when we’re angry, okay? Okay. Surely she had her moments thereafter where she sulked and cried a bit, but she got her crap together and went after that $5k using her graphics/artistry work that she contributes to the magazine barely avoiding termination. I’ve written on how women undergo dramatic hair changes that usually represent a change in life (or not), and right before she went in and asked for her monthly raise of $5k, she chopped her hair into a fab pixie cut.
At Nell and Freddy’s wedding reception, Dante’ shows up (yeeeees!). She takes him aside to tell him how sorry she is and assures him that he is the Martin to her Gina. While I thought he was going to kiss and make up, he says, “thanks” and walks away. I was fa-loored! She asks Nell if she could leave and with her blessing, she does. But, as dusk fell, she still hadn’t found him and with her shoes in her hand, she walks home defeated to find Dante’ waiting in the driveway for her with an open heart! Yes, Lifetime, yes! It feels so good loving somebody when somebody loves you back!
But, for the buzz kill, tell me why Chris’ unstable ugly self (he’s really not ugly, but the word is necessary for this post), knocks on Gabby’s door with an engagement ring in his hand while her “official boo” is in the gentleman’s room?! I did not expect that ending at all. I would like to hope that Gabby was confident enough to say, “I’m flattered, but I’m taken and don’t ever pop up at my house unannounced again. Goodbye sir.”
Xpressers – if you haven’t seen the flick, but grasped the characters based on this recap, I truly want to know what you think about the unconventional aspects of their relationships. Tell me, would you marry someone who is bisexual? Would you have an open marriage? I’m something like straight-forward, my answers to both are an absolute “no,” but, I am curious to know if this movie was just being creative or marriages to bisexual partners really exist. Maybe I’m a bit sheltered or missed the memo? I’ve heard of open marriages before but it still trips me out every time.
Overall, the movie prompted plenty of giggles and a lot of eye rolls from me. If you enjoyed it, you will enjoy my book even better!
The movie premiered Jan. 28 on TV, but can be watched online via Lifetime using your cable provider login credentials.
Here’s the trailer:
What did you think of the movie?
Until next time, XoXo!
[All images retrieved from Lifetime]