So Netflix recently released another original film and it’s called Nappily Ever After. It stars Sanaa Lathan as Violet Jones who seemed to have it all – a thriving advertising career, a hot boyfriend and great hair. But after she ends up with a dog instead of an engagement ring, her perfect life unraveled along with her hair.
Netflix’s Nappily Ever After: Worth Watching?
Saw the trailer as I was browsing my Facebook feed and thought it would be interesting to watch. Now that I’ve seen it, let me share my two cents on this film.
What I Like
This movie gave me quite a few chuckles. There’s Violet’s panic reaction to getting hosed down with water, ruining her perfectly straightened hair. The accident she had at the hair salon where she got her hair emergency fixed. Dad ending up as an underwear model, thereby revealing to the world that he seems to be gifted underneath that white brief he was wearing in the ad and her friends talking about her Dad’s package! Cringe! Who wants to hear her friends talk about your father’s seemingly sizeable package? But also funny!
Wil and Zoe’s father-daughter relationship
Wil is an endearing father who showers his daughter with love and doesn’t fail to always tell her that she’s beautiful the way she is. And your heart would go out to Wil and Zoe as they both struggle with the idea that they’re a broken family. Wil, being a single Dad, wishes that he could be enough for his daughter but feels frustrated with the realization that his daughter still needs her mom. You’ll feel for the kid too, seeing how she longs for the mom that isn’t there in her life.
The Film’s Message
Violet’s hair story is so relatable! Us women, we do so much styling with our hair because having great hair makes you feel beautiful and confident! We perm it. We color it. We cut it short or grow it long. We get blowouts. Rebonds. Keratin smoothening treatments. In Violet’s case, she always kept her hair straight because she grew up believing that it’s only when her hair is straight that she can be perfect.
It took losing all her hair for her to realize that perfect was not the way to live. She was missing out on life simply because she didn’t want to mess up the hair she spent hours fixing. As her boyfriend in the movie said Vi’s life was all about the no’s – no dancing; no shower sex; no being silly together – nothing that could ruin her hair.
Of course it’s not to say that we shouldn’t color our hair. Or get treatment. Or whathave you. I know I’m personally toying with the idea of getting my hair recolored again! And getting treatment for it for no other reason than simply because I want to!
It took going bald to make her realize she need not be perfect. She need not look a certain way because it’s what would land her the guy or what other people would find beautiful. She only needed to love who she sees in the mirror.
This film’s message is clear and powerful – be your own kind of beautiful – however you see that. Not who others says you should be. To quote Violet “Women can wear weaves if they want to. They can straighten their hair if they want to. It’s a choice.” Keyword being choice.
This movie is more than just a romcom. It’s really about self love – embracing who you are kinky hair and all.
What I Wish There Was More Of In This Movie
The book where this film was adapted from might have tackled some of my issues about the story considering you can do so much more background story telling in a book than a film where you have to compress it into a two hour watch. Still I think the screenwriters could have fleshed the stories out a bit more.
More Mother-Daughter Story
Paulette, Violet’s mom, is depicted to be the reason why Violet felt so insecure in life. There’s a scene where adult Violet talked to her mom about an incident when she was young that made her feel so bad because she became the laughing stock of the other kids and wondered what her life would be like if Paulette just hugged her instead of whisking her away on the car. But they never really delved into it. It felt like it just had to be said but not to be explained any further.
More Backstory About her Parents Relationship with Each Other
At age 11, it was shown that her parents are together and as when Violet grew up, they talked about her parents separating. But again it’s only the tip of the iceberg. While you’d see in the course of the film that her parents interactions with each other become estranged, they don’t really delve deeper into it. And just like how they treated her parents split, they also didn’t do much to show why her parents’ would get back together. An eye contact and jump into the water together and that’s it. They are back together as though they simply had a fight and had now kissed and made up.
More Backstory About Her Mother
In a dinner with family and friends, viewers and Violet are given a window to Paulette’s back story growing up. It’s brought up in the dinner conversation when one of Paulette’s friends compliments Violet for her great hair and how lucky she is that her mom loved doing her hair when her grandmother didn’t share the same feeling about doing Paulette’s.
So it boils down to the question: is it worth watching? Despite wishing for a little more backstory, it’s still a heart warming film with a powerful message worth taking into heart.