So, there was quite a bit of controversy surrounding Step Sisters from the moment the trailer first aired. I remember seeing the “NOPE!” comments throughout my Facebook feed, along with “Why do they even try?” It seemed to be an instant turn-off for the majority of my fellow black women – some who are members of a HBGLO, and some who aren’t. The general consensus was that they would not even “entertain” the premise by watching it.
My initial reaction: a twisted face. I wasn’t sure how I felt. I knew I wouldn’t know how I felt until I watched the movie. And yes, I planned to watch the movie as soon as I saw the trailer. Let’s get some things out of the way.
1. I’m an avid TV/movie watcher.
2. I’m a screenwriter and author. So, I’m a creative.
3. I’m a proud member of a HBGLO. Can you guess which one? (It’s not hard to find out.)
4. I’m nosy enough to watch controversial shxt others shy away from.
I’m not going to summarize the plot. You can watch the trailer and read synopses posted on the internet. I will, however, summarize my thoughts.
I enjoyed the movie. It looked like Bring it On meets Stomp the Yard, and I pressed PLAY expecting it to be a little cheesy – maybe even corny – with a main character who starts off with shallow intentions and ends up having meaningful purpose. (Typical coming of age storyline.) Bingo! And though many aspects were predictable, I found myself laughing, rooting for certain characters, and rolling my eyes at other characters.
Though I was annoyed with the many references to race, I can’t deny they mirrored real-life experiences and reflected the ignorance to what Greek life truly is for Black sororities and White sororities. I cried laughing at the accuracy of Danielle’s questions when she first met Jamilah. Why don’t you guys have houses? Are you the ones that do the screech sound? etc. And then came the shameful revelation of why Saundra, the “White Black girl,” really wasn’t feeling Jamilah when she first started hanging around the SBBs… Nice twist.
Without being preachy, Step Sisters managed to expose cultural division and perception and show what true sisterhood is. Add the B story of Jamilah’s love life, and it was a solid story. My only real side-eye is how her sorors let her be incognito long enough to train the SBBs, and they had no idea. It would have been nice to see a little backstory with them. Were they never close to Jamilah? Because I know my sands and sorors would have shown up at my apartment. Later with all the phone calls asking where I’ve been.
Anyhoo, if you don’t watch it expecting it to be some deep exploration of Greek life, you’re bound to like the movie. Relax and enjoy.