Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Stars: Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Mos Def, Nicole Ari Parker, Boris Kodjoe, Queen Latifah, Wendell Pierce
Can men and women ever truly be platonic friends? This is the eternal question that director Rick Famuyiwa ponders in Brown Sugar. Dre (Taye Diggs) and Sydney (Sanaa Lathan) have been friends since their childhood days in New York, but there have never been any romantic sparks between the two of them. Dre has become a successful A&R, while Sydney has become editor-in-chief at a hip hop magazine; their friendship has never been tested until Dre gets engaged to Reese (Nicole Ari Parker), an attorney who's the antithesis to Sydney and the wrong woman for him.
Suddenly, Sydney realizes that her feelings for Dre may have been stronger than those of pure friendship, even though she's currently being entertained by NBA star Kelby Dawson (Boris Kodjoe). Even though Sydney accepts Kelby's proposal, jealousy between Sydney and Reese reaches a boiling point and, eventually the viewers (and the characters) get what they want: a Dre and Sydney hookup.
Brown Sugar is about choices—specifically, are Dre and Sydney making the right ones, personally and professionally? Both characters are forced to decide whether they're willing to devote their lives to people and situations that are externally attractive, as opposed to following their hearts and doing what's instinctively right. It’s obviously a love story, and Dre and Sydney's mutual love for hip hop is as central to the story as their love for each other. Truth be told, hip hop might as well be the third lead character.