The 1997 Movie Clover

The Movie Clover:

I just saw a very good movie called Clover. It was made in the 1990s.

Sara, a white woman, marries Gaton, a single father, who is Black He has a young daughter named Clover whose mother died, I presume when she was a young girl. At the wedding, Sara’s family does not show up, only the Black family comes. Many people in the family, however, have their reservations about Sara as they are not sure if they can trust her, especially Aunt Everleen (Loretta Devine). Not long after the wedding reception, the father is killed in a car crash. Everyone expects that Sara will leave now that her husband has died, but Sara decides to stay with the family because she promised Gaten that she would help raise Clover. From that point on, Sara, Clover and Aunt Everleen basically have to come to reconcile their differences. Clover does not want to accept that her father has died and initially feels that Sara has intruded on her life and is ultimately responsible for her father’s death. Aunt Everleen does not feel that she can trust Sara because she doesn’t know her and Sara struggles the entire time trying to understand her new family and Black culture.

At first when I watched the movie, I thought it was going to be a stereotypical, angry, jealous Black woman vs. perfect white woman movie, but surprisingly it wasn’t at all. While Aunt Everleen and Sara had their issues, the movie did not make Aunt Everleen out to be the villain. Instead, the movie focused on the fact that while Aunt Everleen had her reservations about Sara and felt that she couldn’t trust her, it was mostly because she had been discriminated against her whole life by other white people. Aunt Everleen was not made out to be an irrationally jealous Black woman in the stereotypical manner, but instead she was complex.

I was also worried that the movie might pull the reverse racism card and make all the Blacks seem like the main racist obstacles in the scenario, but the movie focused on white racism. For example, Sara’s family would not attend the wedding and a white man in the neighborhood, whom Sara initially thought she could trust, turns out to be a complete racist. It’s the Black character who accept Sara in the end and reconcile their differences, while Sara’s family stays out of the picture entirely. Sara and Aunt Everleen reconcile their differences and once Sara proves that she is a trustworthy person and is not a racist, the two become friends. Sara and Clover reconcile as  well and Clover is able to accept that her father has passed. She accepts that Gaton has died and says  “I’m no longer going to look back at you Gaton, I’ll just know you’re always there.”

Overall, I thought it was a good movie. It was not the stereotypical angry Black woman vs. the white woman. It didn’t play up Black racism against the white woman, like some interracial movies tend to do. Instead, it demonstrated that the reservations of the Black family came mostly because of the racism THEY had experienced from whites. I didn’t feel like Sara was made into a white savior of the movie because she had to learn a lot about herself throughout the film. What I liked most was that instead of the movie just being about Black man & white woman overcoming the angry Black women, it was really about Sara, Clover and Aunt Everleen overcoming their differences and becoming friends.

I thought it was very uplifting, it wasn’t perfect, but it was good. I had never seen it before. I think it’s actually one of the better interracial films that I’ve seen to be honest.  It was a made-for-TV movie, but very well done.

4 thoughts on “The 1997 Movie Clover”

  1. I just saw the movie too and thought Aunt Everleen came across aWs rascist in the beginning. She was very outspoken about her feelings toward Sara, even when several members of her family tried to get her to ease up on the poor woman. Her own husband thought that she was wrong to treat Sara Kate the way she did and told her to ” lay that burden down” before she went to church on Sunday. It wasn’t until toward the end of the movie that Aunt Everleen finally “laid down the burden” of racism that she was carrying around, when she realized that Sara wasn’t like many of the white women from her past. The white neighbour who claimed to be Gaton’s “friend” also was revealed as a racist, and Sara displayed disgust with him after he “accidentally” used the “N” word. So it was clear that racism existed on both sides.

    Overall, I thought it was a beautiful movie and I was particularly impressed with the young actress, Zelda Harris, that played Clover. I Googled her and found that she stared in a few more movies in the 90’s; she even appeared in an episode of NYPD in 2002, but nothing since then.


    1. yes i thought the movie was cute, it was one of the few movies that wasn’t completely corny in pitting black women against white women stereotypical save the last dance/obsessed crap


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