This Day in Film: Poetic Justice

This Day in Film: Poetic Justice

The cult classic was released on July 23, 1993.

Published July 22, 2011

John Singleton’s second film celebrates its anniversary today. Poetic Justice was a romantic drama starring Janet Jackson, Regina King, Joe Torry and the late Tupac Shakur. The film tells the story of Justice (Janet Jackson), a young woman living in South Central, Los Angeles. Following the shooting of her boyfriend, played by Q-Tip, Justice enters a state of depression. While at the hair salon where she works she encounters Lucky (Tupac Shakur), a postal worker and single father.


The two’s courtship is the central narrative of the film. The movie debuted at #1 at the box office, grossing more than $11 million opening weekend. The movie would go on to net more than $27 million. Janet Jackson received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song with the Hot 100 chart topper “Again.” However, the movie was not without controversy off the screen. Tupac infamously revealed that he was offended that Janet demanded he take an HIV test before they completed any kissing scenes. It was later clarified that it was members of Janet’s team, not the pop star and actress herself.


Late last year, Janet reflected on Tupac in an interview with the Telegraph. She said, “Pac was just silly. He was completely different from what people knew. Not that it was an act, the person the world knew, because that was him, too. I adored him. He liked to play and laugh.


She also added: "I remember when he said he was going back to L.A. to get a tattoo. And I said, ‘Why are you going to L.A. We’re not supposed to leave, we have a shoot tomorrow.’ He looked at me and said, ‘Square!’ When he came back he showed me the tattoo he got on his stomach. He was sweet. Granted, there was another side, but he wouldn’t snap or go crazy out of nowhere. There had to been something that triggered that. I miss him."

(Photo: Columbia Pictures)

Written by Michael Arceneaux


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