Love by the 10th Date (2017 Lifetime)
Stars: Meagan Good, Brandon T. Jackson, Kellee Stewart, Keri Hilson, Kelly Rowland
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Synopsis (via Lifetime)
“Love By The 10th Date” follows Gabby (Good), Nell (Stewart), Billie (Hilson) and Margot (Rowland) who balance their dating adventures alongside their career ambitions at an upscale digital magazine in Los Angeles, under the watchful eye of their editor, Maureen (Deeley). Inspired by the site’s relationship advice column to find the one, Gabby and Nell embark on their own journeys towards the elusive 10th date, the dating world’s Holy Grail when it comes to commitment. Meanwhile, Billie finds herself at a major crossroads in her marriage, and Margot unsuccessfully tries to fight her growing attraction to a famously controversial reggae musician she is assigned to interview. As the ladies navigate the ups and downs of modern dating, romance, exes, and friendships, they learn what they really want out of life and love. Jackson stars as Dante, a creative director at the site, and Bowyer-Chapman is Freddy, Nell’s bisexual boyfriend.
Gabby is getting her hair done for a date, her family is cursed, and she can’t find a man. Her mantra is to have fun get some. Her date cancels on her, and Gabby eats a sandwich sadly while watching Family Feud. (Is she me?) She oversleeps after passing out on the couch, runs into car trouble, and almost misses the bus. Gabby is a mess.
Gabby works at a lifestyle website called Nina. Dante, her male co-worker, pulls out her weave by accident and has a lot to say about matching underwear. They do not get along, but she will probably end up with him. Meanwhile, the beauty editor Billie is in her office, getting it on with her husband, Kevin. Kelly Rowland is interviewing a musician who is hitting on her and asking inappropriate questions. Nelle hides from the bitchy boss Maureen. There is even a sassy gay co-worker named Porsche, who whips out a fan in the first five minutes. (I’m here for this movie.)
Over martinis, Gabby, Billie, Nelle, and Kelly Rowland talk about men. Billie is in an open relationship with her husband and thinks Gabby should try it. Nelle read an article written by Maureen that promises love after the 10th date. Gabby has never gotten to a 10th date and vows to make it happen. Gabby is even going to write a story about it with the help of her friends. Kelly Rowland pitches the story to Maureen, and Dante offers to give her a ride since her car is broken.
The story is approved, and scary Maureen gives Gabby money for a makeover. Gabby gets her hair done for real and bikini wax. A mini montage happens with Gabby setting up her dating profile.
Billie, on the other hand, needs no help in the dating department. She sets up a threesome with her and her husband with another guy—her husband is not into it and kind of gay panics.
Nelle goes to da club with Gabby and picks up a man by literally licking a martini glass. The guy is hot but also seems gay. Maybe it is because I just was almost about to watch a gay threeway, and I can’t turn it off. Nelle and Freddy sit in the car and listen to Luther Vandross together. He admits that he is bisexual and had been dating men before.
Kelly Rowland uses sex toys on herself for some reason.
Gabby starts getting online dates, and they are terrible. One guy brings a date to the date, another takes her to a strip club, and another shows her a dick pic at the table. Dating is terrible. Gabby makes it to a third date with a guy, but he reveals he is a superhero.
Dante still gives Gabby rides, and she is depressed. He cheers her up by a sing-along to Black Sheep – The Choice Is Yours Then they eat dinner and talk about relationships. He says he is in love with someone, but she isn’t ready for him. He says he has found the Gina to his Martin.
At a drag show, Nelle introduces Freddy to her friends, and they are perplexed. (Well, Billie is here for it.) Then Freddy sings karaoke version of “All My Love” and dedicates it Nelle, which is sweet. Gabby stays too long and does too many shots. Her next date is early in the morning at church and very hungover. She gets saved to make them stop clapping and cheering for Jesus. She passes out and isn’t wearing any panties, giving the whole congregation a beaver shot. (The picture goes viral.) Later, she cries to Dante, and they kiss. Gabby is more confused than ever.
At work, Gabby gets asked out on a persistent hunky man named Chris. He used to date Gabby and was a professional football player. Adding to the awkwardness in navigating her blossoming relationship with Dante. Don’t get it twisted though, Chris is FINE. I would be conflicted too.
Things get cleared up fairly quickly when Chris tells Gabby his business plan. It is a meeting, not a date. Chris sends flowers to Gabby as an apology and clarifies that he wants to be friends. Much to Gabby’s disappointment. Then she freaks out in the office and smashes the flowers while Chris walks up behind her. He pulls Gabby aside and opens up about his sister passing and missing having a female figure in his life. He sincerely hopes they can be friends and potentially more. Dante watches this go down and gets Jealous.
Montage of fun dates happens. Chris and Gabby go boating, paint, drink wine, and kiss a lot. She makes it past five dates and gets a round of applause in the office. Then Chris hosts an art show for Gabby, the art sells out, and it is a huge success. At the show, Nelle and Freddy get in an argument when a gay guy in glasses hits on him and gets rude when he is rejected. Nelle calls Freddy gay because he slept with men. Freddy leaves angrily and says that it hurts most because he loves her. Gabby sets Nelle straight and tells her that Freddy loves her, and he may be bisexual, but now he is Nelle-sexual. No reason to be jealous, gurl!
Things aren’t working out for Kelly Rowland and the musician she has been trying to date. Billie also sees her husband sleeping with another woman and is pissed. (They are in an open relationship, but he crossed a line… I guess? Oh, they can’t sleep with people they both know.)
A dance party happens in the office, and I am in love with this movie. Gabby is in a good place until she learns that Dante is moving to Chicago. She submits her portfolio.
Gabby and Chris are on their ninth date. A Netflix and chill date. Gabby brings up the date count, and Chris is very turned off. He doesn’t want anything to do with her experiment, especially if she expects it to mean something at ten dates. He doesn’t see her as a full-blown commitment. Then he says that he came back because she was fun and kind of crazy. He is a jerk. Gabby tears open pillows and feathers fly all around and then starts breaking dishes.
Nelle makes a grand apology gesture to win Freddy back and sings outside his house in her car. He comes out and sings it with her, and they dance in the parking lot. She proposes to him, and he says yes. It is sweet. Awww! Gender roles are a social construct.
Gabby cuts out her weave and has her natural hair. She looks like a badass when she struts into the office. The site is redesigned secretly by Gabby, and it is a hit. She almost gets fired, but then when it is successful, she asks for $5000 a month more in salary. When she goes to tell Dante, he is not in the office, but all of her paintings are. He bought them all at her art show.
At Nelle’s engagement party, Dante makes an appearance but leaves abruptly when Gabby opens up about her feelings for him. Gabby leaves the party and finds him they kiss passionately. He shares the love too, and is ready to commit to her. They make out on the couch and are interrupted by the doorbell. It is Chris, and he wants to go on that 10th date. Gabby looks at the camera like WTF!
THE END!?!? WHERE IS THE SEQUEL?!?!?!?!?
Minority Report: The entire cast is BIPOCs and maybe the best queer representation I’ve seen on Lifetime.
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*Photo Credit: © 2017 Lifetime