"5 Filmmakers to Watch" Sundance Film Fest
"[Shaka] King has fearlessly forged into unexplored territorythat being the African-American stoner comedy...and the results are profoundly hilarious, occasionally heartbreaking, often brilliant and entirely devoid of political piety" Salon.com
"Beautifully understated" Village Voice
"Expertly written, directed, shot, acted and edited... Newlyweeds is less a grand statement than a playground for its talented performers and filmmakers" RogerEbert.com
"Intriguing... the attention-grabber is King's mosaic-like depiction of Brooklyn, shot with a captivating vibrancy" Chicago Tribune
Lyle (Amari Cheatom) and Nina (Trae Harris) are in lovewith each other and with getting high, but not necessarily in that order. Wafting through aimless days in New York smoking weed whenever possible, Lyle makes his living repossessing rented furniture from the destitute before heading home to be with Nina, who works as a tour guide for the Brooklyn Children's Museum. Though caught in a loop of self-medication, Nina yearns for more. Dispassionately whiling away their days at their jobs and spending evenings in an amorous haze, the wake-and-bake lovebirds must reevaluate their relationship and their lifestyle after a series of rambling and episodic errors, marked by jealousy and poor judgment.
Director Shaka King's feature debut provokes a thoughtful meditation on the habits that hinder modern relationships, navigating through the perilous and comedic with a natural ease and restraint. This bittersweet tale of chemical dependency is part coming-of-age romance, part hallucinatory adventure as the convincing performances and chemistry of the main characters invites all viewers in to share in the turmoil of this troubled relationship. Craftily luring the stoner-comedy into a meaningful examination how this couple deals with life and love, King confronts a community that refuses to grow up and asks the audience what it really means to be an adult, once the smoke clears.