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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Emotional crime drama deals with difficult life situations

By Taylor Jensen/entertainment editor

Rapper/actor Common and young actor Michael Rainey Jr. co-star in LUV, a film where the timing of events is unlikely in the real world, but concepts are relevant.
Photo courtesy LUV Films 5

LUV, or Learning Uncle Vincent, manages to capture the brief, but defining moment when a child’s faith and love for another is replaced with disappointment.

Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.), an 11-year-old boy who dreams of reuniting with his absent mother, is forced into manhood throughout the course of one day spent with his favorite uncle.

Uncle Vincent, played by Common, has just been released from prison with a dream of starting his own restaurant and staying straight. The problems are the $20,000 he needs to fund this dream and the risks he foregoes getting it.

Vincent’s former boss, Fish, played by Dennis Haysbert, who proves more frightening as Fish than his usual character, the Allstate guy, tells Vincent, “You run the streets, not restaurants.” However, Fish will consider giving him the money if he finishes one last “job” for him.

Throughout the day, Vincent gradually becomes more desperate and takes his frustrations out on Woody, telling him to “handle your business” and “be a man” while teaching him how to dress, drive a car and shoot a gun. It’s as if in his desperation to change his lifestyle, Vincent forgets what he is asking from a child. Woody is no longer his nephew but a partner in crime.

Interestingly, as the film progresses, both man and child become more ruthless in obtaining what they want. Vincent becomes more immature as he faces the demons haunting him, and Woody begins to make adult decisions to clean up his uncle’s mess.

LUV is well made with a beautifully serene soundtrack. It keeps the viewer guessing but never loses the calm seriousness that sets it apart from other crime dramas.

This film is abundant with difficult life lessons most children have to learn, but the importance of LUV is that Woody is expected to learn these lessons and many more in a single day.

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