Updated: Oct 17, 2021
My 2000s Inspirations for Every Story I've Written
Couple: Camille & Billy from "Love Song"
Le Moment: Pump Time Mackin'
So, I have a confession. Until recently, I didn't realize how influential this movie was until I watched parts of it on YouTube. Then it became obvious. Real obvious. A good deal of my writing influences was stoked by mainly one character. The Ryan Boys got their last name from the main male lead and their speech patterns (especially the darlin’ drawl they have). Grant Ryan playing the guitar? Thanks to the male lead again. Camille from The Rancher’s Searing Touch is from the name of the female lead. I did rewatch this on VHS over and over again. I remember watching it the day it debuted on MTV back in 2000. This was the start of many writing fantasies all thanks to Billy Ryan.
Camille Livingston (played by a girl can sang Monica) is the daughter of affluent parents. She wants to major in social work in college but her Dr. Dad wants her to major in the medical field like him. She has a boyfriend named Calvin who is more like the son her father didn’t have, following in Camille’s father’s footsteps in the medical field.
While with friends celebrating her 21st birthday, she comes across someone who will uproot her entire world. Which brings me to...
Le Moment: Pump Time Mackin’ (And the spoiler is as old as the female lead)
The ladies stop at a gas station. Camille gets out to put gas in the car when someone who works at the gas station sidles up beside her, startling her. He takes over pumping the gas for her, but she tells him she's fine. And he says that he sees that which is why he insists. After setting him down for what seems like a very tired pick-up line, he asks for her name. Camille tells him to don't be ridiculous, especially thinking he had a snowball's chance of getting with her. But he corrects her by letting her know that her name's Camille since he picked up the credit card she left on the gas pump.
When she tries to get it from him, he resists letting go, and you can tell that the man is already smitten with her. After they leave, they make a brief stop at a poetry reading for one of her friends to poetically tell an ex off in an epic way. After that, they head to Thelma's Blues Bar, where they run into the guy working at the gas station cleaned up and ready to mack. Billy Ryan (played by immortal writing fuel and can have any leverage he wants, Christian Kane) is all cleaned up and he comes after Camille hard.
He asks to dance with her, and she refuses because she has a boyfriend. So he counteracts it by getting on stage to sing a blues song that he dedicates to her in celebration of her birthday. And the song he sings to her is straight-up temptation, of how he's going down and he doesn't want to there by himself, all the while staring straight at her. The man is bold and persistent, seeing something he wants and going after it. But Camille isn't resistant to his pursuit either, because Billy is different and exciting in comparison to her stiff run-of-the-mill bougie boyfriend that checks all her dad's requirements. So while Calvin is out of town, Camille and Billy find themselves getting closer together.
This is also a refreshing retrospective of a lot of things. Of the black girl being rich with the white guy from the other side of the tracks. How they viewed colorism even in the black community, classism, racism, and all the other "isms" that exist. It was quite interesting and bold for an MTV movie to do that in 2000, even though they don't dig very deep in it...because it's an MTV movie.
Where to Find It:
It's a rare find. You can find it on YouTube which is what has sustained me after all this time. But it's a refreshing time capsule of people you know. Like as many times as I realized who he was, didn't realize Akon would eventually get a few hits by the mid-2000s. See other people like Chili from TLC, Tyrese before Fast & Furious. Just makes me miss when things were simpler where you could enjoy a love story through song.
Read & Ship On. :)