A Thin Line Between Love and Hate

on April 05, 1996 by Dwayne E. Leslie
This past November, New Line obtained "Thin Line Between Love and Hate" from Savoy, an acquisition that looks promisingly profitable. Fueled with an all-star R&B/hip-hop compilation soundtrack, this directing debut by Martin Lawrence ("Bad Boys") takes its title from a song made famous by The Persuaders and brings it to life.
Darnell (Lawrence) has a job generating business for a nightclub; meanwhile, he takes care of his many women companions. Things run smoothly until he meets Brandi (Lynn Whitfield from HBO's "The Josephine Baker Story"), a classy uptown woman clearly out of his league. But Darnell is determined to get her into bed, even if he has to use the forbidden four-letter word: love. Midway, after Darnell pledges his troth to Brandi but then breaks off with her, the comedy switches into thriller mode, as she turns into a femme fatale on a mission to regain the piece of her heart he has stolen.
Although filmed in the same area as films centralizing on male gang violence, "Thin Line" is several steps above a traditional 'hood film, providing positive female role models and dealing with relationships on many levels. In showing the importance of monogamy, the film is profound enough that it could lead couples to reevaluate themselves; women will look at their new men a bit more quizzically, and men will be less likely to say "I love you" unless they mean it. Starring Martin Lawrence, Lynn Whitfield, Bobby Brown and Regina King. Directed by Martin Lawrence. Written by Martin Lawrence, Bentley Kyle Evans, Kenny Buford and Kim Bass. Produced by George Jackson and Douglas McHenry. A New Line release. Comedy/thriller. Rated R for strong language, a sex scene and some violence. Running time: 107 min
Tags: Martin Lawrence, Lynn Whitfield, Bobby Brown, Regina King, Directed by Martin Lawrence, Written by Martin Lawrence, Bentley Kyle Evans, Kenny Buford, Kim Bass, Produced by George Jackson, Douglas McHenry, A New Line release, Comedy/thriller, companions, love, gang, violence

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