As we scrolled the romantic movie listings, we noticed a distinct lack of diversity. We were wondering – where are all the people of color? Don’t they fall in love and make cheesy movies? Of all of them that we have watched, we could only think of one with an African American lead – our all-time favorite – The Mistletones. Then The November Rule popped up in the Netflix line-up so we decided to give it a try. Despite a few bumpy Ewwww moments that we had to fast forward through, we all really loved this movie.
Steve (Mo McRae) has a rule that he breaks up with whomever he is dating on November 1st so he doesn’t have all the pressure of going through the holidays, buying gifts and meeting the family. Except for this time, he really likes Leah (Tatyana Ali), the girl he is dating. She seems perfect, but Steve breaks up with her anyway despite the advice of his best friends.
80’s/90’s Star Sitings:
Barry Bostwick (inexplicably always a favorite of mine since he played George Washington in a TV miniseries) plays Leah’s boss. Macy Gray makes an appearance as the drunk neighbor of Steve’s parents. And although not a throwback star, some of you might recognize Faizon Love from his role as the department store manager in Elf.
The “It” Factor ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
This movie definitely has the “it” factor. From the hip sneaker lingo, to the witty dialogue between Mo’s friends (and Leah’s too), this movie had all the feels. We were rooting for Steve (Mo Rae) and Leah (Tatyana Ali) to get together, and we laughed out loud several times. Which is a good thing, because this movie is primarily billed as a comedy. But make no mistake, it’s a romance at heart.
One thing this movie had going for it is that it’s largely told through the male protagonist point of view, and that’s kind of refreshing in this genre. He and his friends talk about romance and dating just as much as the women and it’s nice to have their perspective.
I also like that Leah didn’t wallow around when Steve broke up with her. In fact, she started dated a super hot basketball player. This led The Teen to comment “I don’t see how Mr. Right is going to turn this thing around …” We were worried for Steve.
The Him is so Handsome Factor:
Teen and Tween: ❤️❤️❤️
I think Mo McRae is good looking and has a great charm about him. The girls thought he was cute, but not that cute – although they would give his abs a solid five. I think they were a little distracted by the ridiculously good looks of Mr. Wrong – James Avedon (Jay Ellis). They would be even more distracted if they knew what a smart, kind person Jay Ellis appears to be IRL from his bio – college basketball player, student body president, and Americorp Volunteer).
The Tropes (also known around these parts as “all the cliches”)
✔️ Dead Dad – This is refreshing. All mothers seem to be alive and well. The dad bites the dust this time – an added bonus that it’s the hero’s dad and not the heroine’s parent. Steve’s dad has passed and it’s supposedly part of the reason for the November Rule.
✔️ Commitment Phobe Transformation – Anyone with a November Rule is definitely a commitment phobe.
The Ewwww Factor: ❤️❤️❤️
I wasn’t sure how this was going to go because The November Rule doesn’t have a rating. This movie is definitely geared to a slightly older audience – older teens and adults. Nothing racy, and no nudity, but there is some suggestive language that might make some uncomfortable. You might want to fast-forward through the scene where Leah and her roommate (Lala Anthony) are scrolling through dating profiles due to some mild sexual humor. We definitely had to fast-forward through the family Christmas dinner scene because of language and some sexually explicit humor. Other than that, this movie is fine. Squarely in the PG-14 rating sphere, I would say. We all agreed we could watch it together, but Dad would probably make us turn it off.
The Bechdel-Wallace Test ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Pass! Leah has several conversations with her co-worker about a job challenge and Leah and her roommate discuss her social media presence.