WE BELONG TOGETHER is a new thriller on Netflix but it originally aired on BET. In many ways, it’s a classic and very stereotypical thriller. Then again, this might appeal to many which is why Netflix is the perfect platform. Read more in our We Belong Together review here.
We Belong Together is a new thriller on Netflix. However, the movie itself is hardly new since it premiered last year on BET. In case you don’t know, BET is short for Black Entertainment Television. Of course, this means the cast of We Belong Together is mostly black, which I actually enjoy.
Just like I love watching movies from South Korea, India or Spain, I enjoy watching movies that feature actors I might not come across otherwise. Ideally, I want to watch a diverse cast, but most movies are (still) very predominately white and often focused on male protagonists.
In fact, that’s one of the reasons why I love horror and sci-fi. Sure, women and characters of color (along with anyone LGBTQ) might die first, but at least we were included long before other genres did this.
Also, there tends to be a final girl… and sometimes she isn’t even straight and white. Though that part is still all too rare, we’re getting there.
Anyway, rant over… let’s get into our We Belong Together review!
Thriller starring Draya Michele
For many people, the fact that Draya Michele plays a lead role is probably enough reason to watch We Belong Together on Netflix. I wasn’t familiar with her prior to watching this, but quickly saw her mentioned in the IMDb user reviews. All of which rated the movie at a 9 or 10. This in itself is, of course, a giant red flag.
Draya Michele is probably best known from the VH1 reality show Basketball Wives LA and from her social media presence on Instagram. Honestly, Draya Michele does a good job in this movie. It’s just that her character, Tracy, is very one-dimensional. That’s hardly her fault.
Along with Draya Michele, we have Charles Malik Whitfield as the main protagonist, Thomas. He is the object of Tracy’s affection (or rather, obsession). Charles Malik Whitfield is very natural and gives a solid performance as Thomas. You may recognize Charles Malik Whitfield from the Netflix series Chambers.
The obsessed student is nothing new
Look, I am not in the target group for this movie. In order to do it somewhat justice, I am trying to be objective in this review. However, it is very stereotypical and reminds me all too much of When the Bough Breaks or even Totem which had a white cast.
This is by no means a “black thing” or even a “TV movie thing”. It is, however, very stereotypical and somewhat misogynistic* thing. We have watched this story a million times before and know exactly how it will play out.
When the movie opens, the professor (Charles Malik Whitfield) is collecting his 90-day chip at AA. And Tracy (Draya Michele) is getting out of prison. She gets into college (very easily) and immediately goes after her recovering alcoholic of a college professor.
Why? Well, why not. That’s what women do in movies like this one. Especially if they’re young and pretty. And if they’re pretty, they’re probably crazy as well, right? Right.
*In case you need a reminder, the definition of being misogynistic is “reflecting or exhibiting hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women”. So yeah, I’d say the plot of this movie is built on exactly that.
Watch We Belong Together on Netflix
This new thriller on Netflix was directed by Chris Stokes, who also co-wrote the script with Chaz Echols and Marques Houston. The three have made quite a few movies together already, so it’s obviously a team that works well together.
In case you ever watched the 1990s comedy series Sister, Sister starring twins Tia and Tamara, you might know Marques Houston. He was their pretty funny (and often annoying) friend, Roger. Marques Houston still acts, but has been writing a lot of screenplays for movies directed by Chris Stokes.
I haven’t watched any of the other movies by Chris Stokes, but many of them have plots that sound like they’ll be similar to We Belong Together. Basically, this feels like BET’s version of a Lifetime movie. And those movies do tend to be very popular, so hey, more power to you. It’ll just never be the kind of movie that takes my breath away.
We Belong Together is out on Netflix in the US, Canada, Australia, UK and South Africa from July 16, 2019.
Director: Chris Stokes
Writers: Chaz Echols, Marques Houston, Chris Stokes
Stars: Draya Michele, Charles Malik Whitfield, Elise Neal, Jessica Vanessa DeLeon, Ross Fleming
A divorced professor shares a night of passion with a troubled student who quickly develops an unhealthy – perhaps deadly – infatuation.