I had "Journal for Jordan" on my eagerly-awaited watchlist for quite some time. Michael B. Jordan directed by Denzel Washington? Count me in! Unfortunately, I found the film to be extremely flat (cringeworthy at times) in the atmosphere & dialogue departments.
For a very basic overview, this movie tells the story of young black couple Charles (Jordan) & Dana (Chante Adams). Charles is a soldier, and while serving in post-9/11 Iraq he constructs a journal of thoughts/advice for young son Jordan (Jason Christian). All the while, flashbacks and narrative time-shifting is used to depict how Charles & Dana got to that point in their relationship.
Paramount in my dislike for "Journal for Jordan" was dialogue that I found to be extremely stilted and unaffecting. At times, it felt like a made-for-TV flick in this regard. While I'm sure the meanings of the words & sentiments themselves are just fine, I couldn't get past the flat delivery or feel of the conversations present.
I also was not at all impressed by the number of cliches or tropes that I felt were utilized in place of real emotion. For the majority of the all-important character setup of a romance picture such as this, it seemed like I was watching "young black couple", "independent career woman", & "derived military emotion" far more than real, emotional characters or scenarios.
In a rather odd move, I was similarly underwhelmed by the usage of the film's titular narrative structure, that being the journal from father to son. Maybe if such a structure had been used to frame the entire movie I could have "bought in" a little more. But as it was, "Journal for Jordan" felt like a cheesy rom-com that sharply tried to pivot to high-drama in the final third.
All of that being said, I watched this film with two others who thoroughly enjoyed it. A lack of a central plot/topic could be the culprit for this, especially when I personally was never swept away by the chemistry of the two leads. I can pretty easily give "Journal for Jordan" three stars because it certainly tries to hit all the right notes, but this one just didn't connect with me in any meaningful fashion.
A Journal for Jordan
A Journal for Jordan
Based on the true story of First Sergeant Charles Monroe King, a soldier deployed to Iraq who begins to keep a journal of love and advice for his infant son. Back at home, senior New York Times editor Dana Canedy revisits the story of her unlikely, life-altering relationship with King and his enduring devotion to her and their child. A sweeping account of a once-in-a-lifetime love, the film is a powerful reminder of the importance of family.
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
January 11, 2022 at 09:11 AM