Gender norms. Even today it is an issue. Especially in heterosexual couples. Women have come some ways in regards to earnings, working in highly regarded jobs and having self confidence. In many instances, communities and households this has not translated into men and women being seen as equals within a couple or family. The man is still expected to be the boss and earn the money. Women are still supposed to take care of the kids, do the laundry and cook supper. It is views like this which keep people and society back. Women being in power jobs and successful should not be discouraged and if the man wants to work part time and stay home with the kids or take care of the household he should not be seen as less of a man.
Director Greg Cally (Anime) in his short film (30 minutes long) takes this issue on head on. Obviously the film is meant to bring about conversation. Here Harrison (Reggie Lochard – Annunciation) has been married to Vanessa (DeShawn White – appeared in episodes of Jessica Jones and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) for seven years. Their anniversary is coming up and he wants to bring her out to a nice dinner. The problem is that he was fired a month ago from his personal training job. Compounding the problem is that he has not told Vanessa, who is a successful lawyer who is being considered for partner at her firm. Harrison is feeling like he is not fulfilling the “male” role in the relationship. This is made worse by all the judgements of his family and the teasing of his boys. This will eventually cause some tension in his relationship. Strike another blow for toxic masculinity.
While I applaud Cally and Lochard, who wrote the script, for what they are attempting here, in the end it is a rather awkward film. That is mostly due to the acting of Lochard. Over acts in most of his scenes which ends up affecting the whole as he is in most scenes. Do like the questions it asks, though. Set within the black community, it asks what being a man means in today’s world? How come the idea of what it is to be a man has not really evolved along with what each of the sexes does today? Why is it so hard if in a heterosexual relationship if the woman makes more than the man? Also shows how toxic masculinity harms the men involved as well. Good food for thought and light shone on the issue.