Yvette and Jody, Baby Boy
This was the world’s introduction to Taraji P. Henson and Tyrese Gibson — and it was love at first sight. This 2001 movie is still a reference point for those of us over 30, setting off the new millennium with a picture-perfect exploration of young Black men and their struggles to grow up under the watchful gaze of their mothers. With her adorable facial expressions and enormous eyes, Henson stole our hearts — and she hasn’t let go yet.
Carmen and Joe, Carmen Jones
Yes, Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge were both breathtakingly beautiful in this 1954 classic, but their chemistry was about more than beauty. When you watched them together, you got a sense the feelings, the attraction, were real — even if they were acting.