Cult Classic Rewind: 10 Love Jones Facts You Didn’t Know

We’re taking a trip down memory lane to revisit the 1997 romantic drama Love Jones.

The film has become a cult classic among fans of the genre and captured the hearts of audiences with its poetic dialogue, captivating performances, and timeless story of love and self-discovery. However, there is more to this film’s story than just what we see on the screen.

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Keep scrolling to learn fascinating Love Jones facts that you may not know. From original casting to the film’s title inspiration, and how the soundtrack impacted the film’s success, there’s a lot to discover about this beloved romantic classic.

Check out the 10 Love Jones facts you didn’t know below.

7 Love Jones Facts You May or May Not Know
Love Jones could’ve been an Inkwell reunion because writer and director Theodore Witcher’s originally wanted Jada Pinkett Smith in the role as Nina Mosley opposite Larenz Tate. ““Believe it or not, I had Jada Pinkett [Smith] in mind,” Theodore Witcher told the Times. “I had seen her on ‘A Different World’ and thought she had a very different sensibility from other black actresses of her generation. I tried to get her and she passed.””

The role ultimately went to Nia Long and we can’t see anyone else playing Nina.



The film getting green lit by New Line Cinema was due largely due to Larenz Tate’s involvement in the film.

Witcher said in a piece to LA Times: “Then the studio came in — and this is how Hollywood works — and had had a lot of success with Larenz [Tate]. They had made “Menace II Society” and, from a marketing [and] numbers standpoint, said, “Look, if you can get Larenz, we’ll make the movie.” His participation became integral to getting a green light at New Line….He was obviously quite dynamic in “Menace II Society,” but I thought [his character O-Dog] was him [in real life] — that’s how compelling he was. I was a little bit wary going in to meet him, even though I knew that I had to have him because I wanted to get the movie made.”


7 Love Jones Facts You May or May Not Know
The film was inspired by a popular poetry club many director, Witcher used to visit in Chicago.

“There was this one [poetry] club in Chicago that we all used to go to, called Spices. I thought that was an interesting backdrop onto which I could layer this story of a twentysomething’s relationship. It had never occurred to me that the movie would get made, quite frankly, because it just seemed so small and niche, even for black people. It just seemed so outside of what Hollywood was making at the time.



The scene where Darius Hall performs the ‘A Blues From Nina’ the scene in the film was from Tate’s first take when shooting.



Bernadette Speakes’ character wasn’t originally written into the film when she audition. And she audition her scene as Isaiah’s wife for her improve.



Witcher also wanted Lauryn Hill to star in the film but couldn’t get around her touring schedule with The Fugees together. However, Hill did contribute several songs to the film’s soundtrack, including the popular single “Sweetest Thing.”

According to Criterion, the film’s title is named for the urban colloquialism jones, which means “addiction” (jonesing for someone). Also according to producers Love Jones was created to give a modern film about African-American life that did not use violence and recreational drugs as elements in the story.



During the rain scene, Nia Long wrapped her body in garbage bags to stay warm underneath her wet clothes. Long said during an interview with LA Times: “Do you know what I had underneath my wardrobe? It was cold, but then it started to rain so they added more rain for the scene, and I wrapped my body in garbage bags to stay dry. We knew that it was going to be a quick scene and we didn’t want to have to go back and change clothes or be sopping, soaking wet, so that’s what we did.”

While the film would go on to be cult classic, when the film was released it only made $12M in the box office against its $10 million budget. Larenz Tate felt the film, which was a Sundance Winner, could’ve done better in the box office if the studio could’ve marketed it better.


Love Jones has one of the best soundtracks. The soundtrack did so well on the charts, the studio reopened the film in theaters.

“The movie was taken out of the theaters, and because the soundtrack was received so well, they reopened the film because the people were demanding to see this movie,” Isaiah Washington said.

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