A lot of the African-American experience is filtered through stereotypes and cliches in movies. Premature tries to undo this by offering a story that’s more common with white teens. Sadly, it doesn’t have the right material to achieve it.
The movie is mainly buoyed by the realistic performances of its cast. Zora Howard, Joshua Boone, and Michelle Wilson do their best. Unfortunately, they’re let down by the undercooked script.
All the female characters are one-dimensional, including the protagonist. Zora Howard, who plays Ayanna, co-wrote the script. Yet Isaiah (Joshua Boone) has more dimensions than her character.
There’s something here about how much first love consumes you that it can derail your life. But we never get a sense of Ayanna as an individual.
She is exclusively seen through her relationship. Her poetry, read in a voice-over during her solitary moments, is about her feelings for Isaiah. Besides her single mom and stereotyped friends, there’s nothing else about her. Isaiah does most of the talking about himself and his dreams. The plot is about the melodramatic circumstances of their relationship.
Yet this relationship is shallow. The movie spends a lot of time on the build-up and relies on sex scenes for chemistry. One would assume that a poet and a musician would connect over words and meters. But save for one moment where Ayanna reads one of her poems, this isn’t utilized.
Everything else is standard romance material. There’s not much here to make you emotionally invested in the relationship as it goes sour. In the end, the open-ended conclusion bears no lasting impact.
You can tell that Premature is an earnest movie made by a confident hand behind the camera. Unfortunately, the important elements are too underdeveloped to say anything more than a forgettable love story.
Premature features fine performances that are let down by an underdeveloped story, forgettable romance, and negative stereotypes.