Newlyweeds, the debut feature of writer-director Shaka King, is many things. It is an intriguing new take on the stoner comedy, the romantic comedy, and one might even say the “black comedy.”
It’s a charming independent venture that takes chances, many of which that work, in presenting a love story about growing up and growing apart. It’s also really funny. The film focuses on couple Lyle (Amari Cheatom) and Nina (Trae Harris), two twenty-somethings who spend a rather large portion of their time together getting high. Nina is a free-spirited tour guide at a local museum, while Lyle holds down a job he absolutely despises as a repo man for a seedy rent-to-own company.
Together, they create a bubble, a retreat from the world in their small New York apartment, where they share blunts and share dreams about changing their lives and traveling to distant lands together. But what once kept the couple close drives a wedge between them when Lyle complains about Nina’s proclivity for dipping too heavily and too frequently into their stash, while she criticizes him for spending all his money on weed when he could be saving up for their future travels. After some heated arguments, a night in jail, and a bad experience with a vaporizer and alcohol (which he usually never touches), Lyle’s life almost instantaneously spirals out of control…
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