Is Netflix New Film Step Sisters A Watch Or A Flop?
When it comes to Netflix, many viewers of color have been asking for content that is more diverse. Yes, I think it’s safe to say that we all love Stranger Things however, we still want shows that have more than one black main cast member. Netflix isn’t perfect, but they have been trying to give their viewers what they’re asking for. In the past few years Netflix has aired shows and movies such as Luke Cage, She’s Got To Have It, and Burning Sands, which are all filled with a diverse cast. We’re only a few weeks into 2018 and it doesn’t look like Netflix has any plans to stop creating shows with black people in mind. Recently, the online streaming service released their latest film Step Sisters to the public.
Step Sisters is a film about a black college student named Jamilah, who strikes a deal with the Dean of her University. If she can help a white sorority win a step competition, her Dean will help her get into Harvard for law school. Even though I feel that the overall plot for the movie is a good idea, there are still a few aspects of the film I found to be a little problematic.
For starters, there is Jamilah’s white boyfriend Dane, who tries excessively hard to be “down” or to come across as “woke”. While watching the movie my stomach would cringe every time he called her racially based nicknames such as “my beautiful brown boo”. I’m not sure if Netflix purposely created the character to be portrayed as a male version of Rachel Dolezal or not. However, I am happy that Jamilah eventually realized that her boyfriend was only with her because he wanted to appear to be more liberal than he actually was.
Another issue I had with the film was Jamilah’s soror and best-friend Aisha, who hated the fact that Jamilah was teaching a white sorority how to step. Throughout the entire movie Aisha consistently put down the white sorority for wanting to step and even accused them of cultural appropriation. I do agree with the fact that stepping is something that started within the black community and is heavily seen throughout black greek life. However, if you were to look throughout black greek life, you will see that black greeks have taught white greeks how to step and stroll numerous times at various universities. There are events such as Stroll Like a Kappa or Step Like an Alpha that were created as a way to offer inclusion to those who might typically feel left out when it comes to stepping or strolling.
Lastly, the ending of the film was a huge disappointment. Step competitions are taking very serious and the teams that compete in them spend months (if not all year) preparing for the event. The judges that are selected to judge these events are picked because they have experience and lack any favoritism towards the competitors. I strongly disliked the fact that the judges within this movie hated the white steppers so much they were willing to curve the score just so they didn’t place in the top 3. It’s creating a narrative that isn’t true! Yes, as black people there are spaces and aspects of our cultural that we like to keep to ourselves (which we have every right to do so). However, I think history shows that a step competition isn’t necessarily one of them. Step shows tend to be an environment filled with diversity and judges who are welcoming.
If you’re watching Step Sisters as a way to learn more about black greek life, then I’d have to call this movie a flop. However, if you’re watching this movie looking for a few laughs and nothing more, then I’d call this movie a watch! Step Sisters has it’s problems. However, the plot line is easy to follow and the script is well written. Also, the movie is genuinely funny (at certain points).
If there are any other movies you want me to review and decided if they’re a flop or a watch feel free to comment them down below!
Twila-Amoure McDaniel49 Posts
Twila-Amoure McDaniel is a college student who is majoring in both communications and film studies. When she isn't in class she is more than likely somewhere making videos for her YouTube channel. Her passions include writing, art, and film-making and she currently has plans on going into the film industry. Twila-Amoure does have crohn's disease, however she is very determined not to allow that to stop her from achieving all of her goals in life. Be sure to follow her on all on her social media platforms @TwilaAmoure and feel free to browse through Campus Lately for more of her work.