A newspaper for Jordan magazine | Movie

The deployment of First Sergeant Charles Monroe King (Jordan) to Iraq puts his life and his relationship with his partner Dana Canedy (Chanté Adams) in danger. Afraid he won’t be able to return home, he writes a heartfelt diary for his newborn son, Jordan (Christian).

If Denzel Washington’s last outing as a director Fences was an Oscar-nominated portrayal of dysfunctional families, then A newspaper for Jordan is his cute, cookie-cutter follow-up. Based on the memoir of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Dana Canedy, it’s a lean, mostly uneventful relationship film driven by the gripping performances of Chanté Adams and Michael B. Jordan.

Virgil Williams’ screenplay sketches Canedy’s love affair with First Sergeant Charles Monroe King (Jordan) as drama-free melodrama (a melodrama). In a typical career-first case, Dana’s continued success in her career as a New York Times reporter sees her putting things of the heart on the back burner. However, a (not so) chance meeting puts King – a soldier who had served under his father – on his doorstep.

The two quickly form the type of soft union you’d find tucked away in a Valentine’s Day card that plays Stevie Wonder jingles when you open it: meet in Central Park, shy about sleeping arrangements, a bit – remember it’s 2022 – where neither of the couple in love can end a phone call (“No, you hang up”). It’s a sweet but not particularly gripping love story, the only fly in the ointment to come when Dana gets upset when Charles doesn’t call because he’s dealing with one of his soldiers. It feels contrived and sets up a thematic idea around a soldier caught between his relationship and his loyalty to his unit that never becomes compelling.

It is a film that does everything to dissipate tensions.

Washington’s direction seems more on the small screen than on the big — save for an impressionistic opening teasing Charlie’s death, he pays little attention to framing, lighting, or editing — and the film’s crossover timelines are hard to follow. To make things more disjointed, he forgets to make room for either of the things mentioned in the film’s title, Jordan (Jalon Christian, charming) and the diary (a feat given how long the film is more than two hours). Both feel shod at the end in a film that completely breaks away from its first act. It’s a film that does all it can to diffuse tensions – we know Dana and Charles’ relationship works because they have a son, and we learn that Charles is killed on duty in Iraq right off the bat. . As such, A newspaper for Jordan takes place as a two-hour formality.

Still, Adams and Jordan are an endearing couple, the former strong as a woman who struggles with affection, shadowed by his military upbringing; the latter as a wide-eyed soldier with an unlikely talent for pointillist paintings, finding moments of naked emotion to complement his polished-to-the-foul soldier. The pair create genuine exchanges of affection that, in a time when black romances that aren’t rooted in trauma are rare in Hollywood, are refreshing. It’s just a shame that the rest of the movie couldn’t match them.

A Journal For Jordan is probably better suited for the page than the screen. Despite the winning chemistry of Michael B. Jordan and Chanté Adams, Denzel Washington’s film etches a romance that rarely offers substance or surprises.


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