Brown Sugar

Rated 4.0 A writer who covers hip-hop music (Sanaa Lathan) and a record company executive (Taye Diggs) have been buddies since childhood—such good friends, in fact, that absolutely everyone else, even strangers, can see what they can’t: They’re madly in love. The obvious model is When Harry Met Sally, but the premise goes back even further than that. Writers Rick Famuyiwa (who also directed) and Michael Elliot IV make it fresh again by deftly mixing high-tone New York glamour with the jumpy energy of hip-hop (reflected also in Dirk Westervelt’s jittery editing). Lathan and Diggs have considerable personal charm, and their screen rapport makes the old story seem new. There’s strong support from Nicole Ari Parker as Diggs’ wife, Boris Kodjoe as Lathan’s fiancé, and Queen Latifah as Lathan’s wisecracking cousin.