Jay ✊🏾✊🏾’s review published on Letterboxd:
I gotta give credit where credit is due. Some of the melodrama really help captures how the main girl is looking for escapism and acceptance from someone who will accept her being different. Seeing her home life at the start to see her longer feeling alone is honestly powerful on its own. Showing a characters struggle to experience a world she cannot see is pretty captivating on its own. Elizabeth Hartman was precious and must be protected at all costs. She really captures someone who is trying to find optimism in her life while also struggling in the world she still loves. It is great seeing her meet someone who can understand what it is like to struggle to live in a world that does not understand that much. Some of the scenes are beautiful and got some legit emotional reactions from me. I even got some legit laughs from some sweet moments in the movie.
The racial aspect is really what drags it down. I would not be so harsh on it since this is a product of its time, but this is something we still get in movies today. A black man who is here to show guidance for a white woman who is in need of help. We still get movies today that have black people in these roles who give up their agency to help their white counterparts feel like they belong. I get at the time, they would not have shown the black guys struggles since the white girl is the focus. Her story is very important and she is captivating, but it honestly rubs me the wrong way when the black character is introduced at the beginning as someone who feels genuine, instead of being a plot device. This would not be so bothersome for if the melodrama didn't undercut the racial aspect of the story.
I am personally not a fan of using the girl's blindness to make a point about colorblindness. To me, it seemed as if they are using it to show how important it is to not see someone's color. That is the way that can help someone not see others as different. I understand the movie's heart is in the right place, but it is something I do not think works. I know the idea is dated, but again, if some of these narrative choices were not still used today to perpetuate certain roles for black people today, I would be more forgiving, but we really have not learned a damn thing if we are are still doing this. I think if the movie had more of a focus on the relationship instead of the racial aspect that is here due to the black character who is present, I think the movie could overcome its melodramatic approach that distracts from the main experience. I can see the appeal it had back in the day, but we are still using the same narrative devices so often today, and for that, I scratch my head.