Netflix’s ‘A Jazzman’s Blues‘ is a romantic drama movie that follows the forbidden love story of two childhood friends — Bayou and Leanne. When the two first meet, sparks fly between them, but the latter’s family is against their entanglement, so they are made to go their separate paths. Fast forward many years, Bayou is now a renowned musician while Leanne is passing as white and married another man. Their old flame is reignited when their paths cross again, and they decide to escape together.
However, the lovers’ past contains some dark secrets that threaten to end their relationship permanently. Written and directed by Tyler Perry, the drama film explores several touchy and vital subjects, such as forbidden love and racism. So, if you like such dramas, you might want to give the below-listed recommendations a try. You can watch most of these movies like ‘A Jazzman’s Blues’ on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
7. A United Kingdom (2016)
Based on the book ‘Colour Bar’ by Susan Williams, ‘A United Kingdom’ is a biographical romantic drama movie helmed by Amma Asante that chronicles the life of King Seretse Khama of Botswana. Set in the 1940s, it depicts how Khama’s loving yet controversial marriage to a British white woman named Ruth Williams made him face political and diplomatic disputes and put his legacy into question. Much like ‘A Jazzman’s Blues,’ ‘A United Kingdom’ portrays the negative consequences of indulging in an interracial relationship back in the day.
6. Jungle Fever (1991)
Starring Samuel L. Jackson and Wesley Snipes, ‘Jungle Fever’ is a romantic drama movie written and directed by Spike Lee. It follows Flipper, a successful and married black man, who gets into an affair with Angie, his white secretary from work. When his wife finds out about the adultery, she kicks him out of the house. Now, Flipper decides to start seeing Angie, but their relationship is not accepted by any of his family, friends, or even strangers. The societal denial of a black man dating a white woman or vice versa is ever so present in both ‘A Jazzman’s Blues’ and ‘Jungle Fever,’ linking the two films significantly.
5. Sylvie’s Love (2020)
Written and helmed by Eugene Ashe, ‘Sylvie’s Love‘ is another romantic drama on the list that follows the love story of a saxophonist named Robert and a young woman, Sylvie. When the former works at the latter’s father’s record store one summer, the two become good friends, creating profound feelings for each other.
At the end of the summer, Sylvie and Robert’s relationship comes to a halt as they go in different directions. Yet, when their paths cross again after several years, they find out that their feelings for one another have not faded after all this time, much like ‘A Jazzman’s Blues.’ Besides, the movies blend romance and music to complement the love story even better.
4. The Last Letter from Your Lover (2021)
Based on the 2012 eponymous novel by Jojo Moyes, ‘The Last Letter from Your Lover‘ is a British romantic drama movie helmed by Augustine Frizzell. Much like ‘A Jazzman’s Blues,’ it is set in two different periods. The narrative revolves around Jennifer Stirling, a housewife from the 1960s, and Ellie Haworth, a modern-day journalist.
When the latter comes across secret love letters from Jennifer and her lover, Anthony, from 1965, she sets out on a mission to uncover the mystery of their forbidden love affair. Although it is not an interracial love story, it touches upon several similar themes to ‘A Jazzman’s Blues,’ including former lovers with turbulent pasts, extramarital affairs, and forbidden love.
3. If Beale Street Could Talk (2018)
Based on James Baldwin’s 1974 eponymous novel, ‘If Beale Street Could Talk‘ is a romantic drama movie directed by Barry Jenkins. The narrative revolves around two childhood friends and lovers — Tish and Fonny — whose lives change drastically when the latter is accused of rape. Following the wrongful accusation, a pregnant Tish sets out to prove her lover’s innocence. Both ‘A Jazzman’s Blues’ and ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ involve friends turned lovers and the hurdles they have to face together due to the prevalence of racism in the 20th Century.
2. Passing (2021)
Based on Nella Larse’s 1929 eponymous novel, Netflix’s ‘Passing‘ is a black and white romantic drama movie helmed by Rebecca Hall. Set in 1920s New York City, the narrative revolves around a black woman whose world turns upside down when she gets involved with a former childhood friend passing as white. The theme of reconnecting with a childhood friend passing as white is what connects ‘A Jazzman’s Blues’ and ‘Passing,’ as Leanne, too, is in the same situation.
1. Loving (2016)
Inspired by the 2011 documentary titled ‘The Loving Story’ by Nancy Buirski, ‘Loving‘ is a biographical romantic drama film directed by Jeff Nichols. It portrays the effects of interracial relationships and marriages a few decades ago, which makes it similar to ‘A Jazzman’s Blues.’ When their marriage is endangered by the laws, Richard and Mildred Loving engage in a courageous legal battle and fight for their marriage.
The couple’s ordeal eventually leads to a historic decision of the Supreme Court about interracial marriage. Another movie, ‘Mr. and Mrs. Loving’ by Richard Friedenberg, also deals with the same story. Much like ‘A Jazzman’s Blues,’ ‘Loving’ involves childhood friends falling for each other and the concept of going to great lengths for love.