Written by: Melody Charles
What if you’re counted on nationwide for help, advice and wise counsel, but behind closed doors, you happen to be in need of assistance yourself? That’s the situation a couple faces in a romantic drama premiering Saturday, May 3 on cable’s Up network, “Where’s The Love?” (7:00 p.m. E.S.T.)
It’s supposed to be a happy time in life for Ryan and Sebastian Reid (Denise Boutte, Lamman Rucker), a pair of married relationship experts with a thriving practice, best-selling books and a popular TV show. Friends and family (David Banner, Angie Stone, Tommy Ford, Terri J. Vaughn, to name a few) remain clueless about their private struggles until the truth explodes….just as they approach their first wedding anniversary. Will the Reids lose each other, their fans and their very livelihoods, or will they survive as a couple and become stronger in the process?
“No matter what you do or who you are, the reality is that people go through things,” said Lamman Rucker, who spoke with Knowshi by phone from Atlanta GA. . “Nobody is perfect and sometimes the pressures and expectations of being perfect can contribute to the dysfunction. We’ve all been guilty of this at some point, knowing what’s best for others and not always practicing what we preach. It doesn’t really remove the wisdom that we provide to other people, but it is ironic that what you know to be best isn’t always the best advise for you to follow at that particular time.”
As an actor with over a decade of experience, the 43-year-old Pittsburgh native debuted on As The World Turns in 2002 and later won sitcom and film roles with Tyler Perry (Meet The Browns, Why Did I Get Married and why Did I Get Married Too) while building visibility with other cameos and independent projects (Brown Sugar, N-Secure, Black Coffee). In a business that seems to glorify trifling behavior and on-screen chaos, Rucker is proud of how the African-American characters are portrayed in the film and was very proactive with the writer and producers (Cas Sigers-Beedles, Keith Neal, David Eubanks and Eric Tomosunsas) to keep the presentation authentic, yet classy.
“It was a choice that we were very conscious of: all of us made decisions about creating content that is going to be uplifting, create positive energy and examples of what and how things could be and should be. The couples aren’t all perfect or even on the same page at times, but the characters aren’t screaming at each other, throwing stuff and acting like they don’t have any intelligence or class. We’ve got way too much of that and it’s of no interest to me. Heated conversations are natural, but even then there has to be respect and restraint. We all had very deliberate conversations about certain scenes such as agreeing that we can say this, but we couldn’t do this or that because it would come off as childish petty, tacky or even downright trifling. Why repeat some of the nastiness, dysfunction and embarrassing content that’s already on in other places?”
Viewers will also find it refreshing that friends and family members are seen as essential rather than as saboteurs wreaking havoc along the way. “I actually think that it’s very healthy and positive to have opposite sex relationships within a marriage: the possibilities of cheating can happen anywhere are anytime, so it’s immature to worry about that coming from just a friendship. I might get called out for this, but I know a lot of wonderful women who, as accomplished and intelligent as they are, have a lot of chickenheads around them that don’t always behave or advise them in an educated way. so those women buy into the insecurity and immaturity of what her ‘friends’ tell her. Sometimes, what might be needed is not just an envious female friends, but a balanced male friend in your life who can communicate the points you need to gain perspective in. I have some bright, intuitive and honest female friends and it’s helped me to learn in a different understand [women] just a little better. We always gonna think y’all are crazy,” he chuckles, “but there’s still a way to be loving and supportive. You’ll see, throughout the movie, a number of different people balancing those different roles and positions.”
Instantly-recognizable stars and intelligent content aside, what Mr. Rucker hopes that viewers take away from Where’s….. is how important love is, romantic or otherwise.
“We have to remember and remind ourselves that it’s supposed to be about the love. Sometimes you have to check yourself, like I do in the relationship I’m in now, and make sure you’re acting in love. If what you’re doing is selfish, vindictive or whatever, you really have to ask ‘where is the love in that?’ And if there is none, you have no business doing it. That’s just a waste of time and an improper use of energy.If you can’t find the love in certain things, places and even from certain people, remove them from your life. Where’s The Love?, in the end, puts everybody in a position to evaluate what they’re doing in life and I think the viewers will really, really enjoy it.”