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From ‘Love Jones’ to ‘Brown Sugar’: 7 Black Romance Movies to Stream on Amazon Prime, Hulu, and More

These romantic movies will add a dose of love to your next binge session.

LOVE JONES, Larenz Tate, Nia Long, 1997

LOVE JONES, Larenz Tate, Nia Long, 1997

Courtesy Everett Collection

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Black romance in movies has evolved since the days of “Porgy and Bess,” “Carmen Jones,” or “Claudine,” but it’s safe to say that the ’90s and 2000s marked a particularly sweet spot for the genre. To celebrate romance movies that helped shape the perception of Black love onscreen in the last 25 years, we put together a list of seven essential films that you can stream on Amazon Prime, HBO Max, and Hulu.

See our roster of Black romance movies below, and for more recommendations be sure to read our monthly Criterion Collection picks and Spike Lee movies to watch.

LOVE JONES, Larenz Tate, Nia Long, 1997

“Love Jones”

Everett Collection

“Love Jones”

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime 

Love Jones” is quintessential viewing for lovers of Black romance films. The 1997 drama, written and directed by Theodore Witcher, showcases the magnetic chemistry between two creative minds. Nina (Nia Long), an aspiring photographer, and Darius (Lorenz Tate), an aspiring writer, connect one night at a Chicago nightclub and become virtually inseparable. The whirlwind romance hits a roadblock though, solidifying Nina’s decision to pursue a dream job in New York City where she reconnects with her ex-fiancé. But her chapter with Darius isn’t over just yet.

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Annapurna Pictures

“If Beale Street Could Talk”

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime 

KiKi Layne and Stephan James star in this Oscar-nominated adaptation of the James Baldwin novel “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Directed by Barry Jenkins, the film is set in 1970s Harlem and follows the romance between Tish (Layne) and Fonny (James), an engaged couple whose future plans get derailed after Fonny is arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. Tish meanwhile is tasked with clearing his name. “If Beale Street Could Talk” is streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime but you can also purchase it on Blu-ray.

“Love & Basketball”

Everett Collection

“Love & Basketball”

Where to Stream: HBO Max, Amazon Prime 

Gina Prince-Bythewood’s directorial debut “Love & Basketball” was recently restored by The Criterion Collection. This romantic sports drama starring Omar Epps and Sanaa Lathan tells the story of childhood friends who go from playful rivals on the basketball court to teenage lovebirds and college sweethearts — all while chasing their basketball dreams.

MEDICINE FOR MELANCHOLY, Tracey Heggins, Wyatt Cenac, 2008. ©IFC Films/courtesy Everett Collection

“Medicine for Melancholy”

©IFC Films/Courtesy Everett Collection

“Medicine for Melancholy”

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime 

Years before Barry Jenkins displayed Black romance in “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Moonlight,” the Oscar winner released “Medicine for Melancholy.” Jenkins’ first feature film is set in San Francisco and centers around a man and a woman attempting to forge a lasting connection after a one-night stand (easier said than done). “Medicine for Melancholy” is also available on DVD.

SYLVIE’S LOVE Tessa Thompson Amazon Prime Video

“Sylvie’s Love”

Courtesy of Amazon Studios

“Sylvie’s Love”

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime 

From dialogue to cinematography, “Sylvie’s Love” is a beautiful film about a summer love story that goes the distance. Written and directed by Eugene Ashe, the romantic story takes place in 1960s Harlem where we meet Sylvie (Tessa Thompson), and Robert (Nnamdi Asomugha). The pair fall in love after saxophonist Robert takes a job working at Sylvie’s father’s record store, but as Robert’s career starts to take flight, his relationship with Sylvie begins to fall apart. Ryan Michelle Bathe, Regé-Jean Page, Aja Naomi King, and Eva Longoria also appear in the film.

JASON'S LYRIC, Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett, 1994, (c)Gramercy Pictures/courtesy Everett Collection

“Jason’s Lyric”

Everett Collection

“Jason’s Lyric”

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

“Quiet in a world full of thunder.” The 1994 romantic drama “Jason’s Lyric” is about young Black Houstonians Jason (Allen Payne) and Lyric (Jada Pinkett Smith), a duo whose chaotic and at times traumatic lives take a turn when they surrender to love. Bokeem Woodbine, Forest Whitaker, Lisa Caron, and Eddie Griffin are among the film’s cast.

BROWN SUGAR, Sanaa Lathan, Taye Diggs, 2002, TM & Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./Courtesy Everett Collection

“Brown Sugar”

Everett Collection

“Brown Sugar”

Where to Stream: Hulu, Amazon Prime, Vudu

Despite being mostly about relationships and dating, hip-hop is an important part of “Brown Sugar.” The 2002 romantic comedy revolves around childhood friends who fall in love with hip-hop on a New York City playground. Their passion for music fuels them to embark on successful career paths only to reunite and realize that their deep connection might not be platonic. Lathan stars opposite Taye Diggs in the film, which also stars Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe, Queen Latifah, and Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def).

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