Metro Weekly

Sampson McCormick stirs up uneasy conversations in gay rom-com ‘Love the One You’re With’

McCormick's film explores specific nuances of dating and relationships in the Black gay community

Scene from Love the One Your With
Love the One Your With

“I think we can do whatever we want in relationships, but I just think that we need to be ethical,” says Sampson McCormick. “I believe in ethical polyamory.”

The D.C.-bred comedian and filmmaker isn’t joking, but rather elaborating on major themes in Love the One You’re With, a provocative new feature film he wrote and executive produced. The movie follows longtime couple Miles (Donnie Hue Frazier) and Avery (Anthony Bawn) as they navigate the pitfalls of monogamy in an age “when you’ve got your next option at your fingertips,” says McCormick.

“I think a lot of people are poly now because we’ve got the internet. But trust and believe, if you find somebody that you really, really like, you ain’t gonna be trying to be poly. You ain’t gonna want nobody touching your stuff,” he jokes.

McCormick — who also co-stars in the film as the couple’s bitchy, truth-telling friend Rene — created Love the One You’re With to explore specific nuances of dating and relationships in the Black gay community. But the movie also targets issues and indignities like ghosting that lovers of all genders experience these days.

“If you don’t want to date somebody, you don’t gotta ghost ’em,” says McCormick. “Just tell them, ‘Hey, this isn’t working out.’ You have a lot of people out there who are screwed up from stuff like that. I imagine it can do a number on your self-esteem if you get ghosted two or three times.”

Directed by Spencer M. Collins V, and shot in November and December of last year in L.A., the film will premiere with an advance virtual screening on Friday, February 12, presented by Reel Affirmations. The film promises to be a conversation-starter, says McCormick, adding that fans of his standup will recognize his comedic voice in the film.

Love the One Your With actors
Love the One Your With

“People know whenever they get something from me, we’re going to talk about everything and we’re going to talk about the things that make us uncomfortable,” he says. “But the difference in how we approach talking about things that are uncomfortable is letting people know it’s okay to be uncomfortable. Life isn’t always comfortable. And if it is, you need to be worried.”

Love the One You’re With screens through an online portal for 24 hours only, starting Friday, February 12 at noon. Tickets are $10. Visit www.thedccenter.org/events/ltoyw.

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André Hereford covers arts and entertainment for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at ahereford@metroweekly.com. Follow him on Twitter at @here4andre.

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