The Cult Classic That Helped Shape Black Cinema in the 90s

Shante Smith (Vivica A. Fox) embodies everything that young black women often aspire to be – she has beauty, brains and she’s a boss! Not to mention, her man Keith (Morris Chestnut) is nice, tall, dark and handsome. Shante has truly got it going on, which is why she’s always the go-to friend to help her girls when their men aren’t acting right… that is until she believes that hers falls in the same boat.

Two Can Play That Gameset the standard for Black rom-coms to follow and the ones that we continue to enjoy today. Before the film, the last major “black romantic comedy” was Boomerang, starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry in 1992. Although this was a low-budget project as it was director’s – Mark Brown – first film, it had a major impact on the culture as we know it today and the representation of Black relationships throughout the body of work was one to remember. It showcased stories told by us within the relationships that we saw portrayed on the big screen. And let’s not forget that all the women in the movie belonged to the upper-middle-class and held down amazing careers.


Here are 5 little known facts about the movie:


  1. Before making his film debut through Two Can Play That Game, director Mark Brown wrote the 1997 film, How to Be a Player
  2. Wendy Racquel Robinson and Anthony Anderson attended Howard University together prior to being cast for the film
  3. There was no nudity in the movie although there were sex scenes

On why he made this conscious decision, director Mark Brown says, “I think that you can tell an effective story without a lot of nudity and cursing. There was an effort to stay away from that. My parents are Seventh Day Adventists and are really strict and I wanted them to see this movie.”

  1. It cost $6 million to make the movie and it made $7 million in its debut weekend in 2001. Overall, the film went on to make $35 million at the box office
  2. Deirdre, portrayed by Mo’Nique, was originally supposed to be played by Tyra Banks


Two Can Play That Gameis considered a cult classic within the black community, much like Love and Basketball and Brown Sugarand is filled with some of our favorites from Bobby Brown to Gabrielle Union. Don’t forget to check it out during our latest segment of #BlackMovieMagic on September 13th@ 8pm.

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