Big Bad Love Movie 2001

“Big Bad Love” is a 2001 drama film directed by and starring Arliss Howard. This emotionally charged and introspective film delves into the life of Leon Barlow, a struggling writer haunted by his experiences as a Vietnam War veteran and his efforts to find meaning in a world marked by pain and loss.

The Story

“Big Bad Love” follows the life of Leon Barlow (Arliss Howard), an aspiring writer residing in Mississippi. Leon is a complex character who grapples with his traumatic experiences from the Vietnam War and the challenges of being a father to his two young daughters. The film explores his pursuit of creative expression and his relentless drive to become a successful writer despite numerous setbacks and personal demons.


In addition to Arliss Howard in the lead role, the film features a talented ensemble cast, including Debra Winger as Marilyn, Leon’s ex-wife; Rosanna Arquette as Velma, a woman who becomes entangled in Leon’s life; and Paul Le Mat as Monroe, Leon’s best friend. Each actor delivers a powerful and emotionally resonant performance.

Themes of Art and Redemption

At its core, “Big Bad Love” delves into themes of art, redemption, and the transformative power of creativity. Leon’s struggles and experiences are deeply intertwined with his passion for writing, and the film highlights the cathartic nature of artistic expression as a means of coping with life’s challenges.

Raw and Introspective

The film is known for its raw and introspective storytelling. It doesn’t shy away from portraying the darker aspects of Leon’s life, including his battles with alcoholism, failed relationships, and the haunting memories of war. This unflinching approach adds depth and authenticity to the narrative.

Southern Atmosphere

“Big Bad Love” also captures the essence of the American South, where the story is set. The film’s southern setting and atmosphere play a significant role in shaping the characters and their struggles, creating a unique backdrop for the narrative.


“Big Bad Love” is a raw and poignant exploration of a struggling writer’s journey to find meaning and redemption in a world marked by pain and loss. Arliss Howard’s directorial and acting talents shine in this emotionally charged film. If you’re drawn to character-driven dramas that delve into the complexities of creativity, personal demons, and the pursuit of artistic fulfillment, “Big Bad Love” offers a powerful and moving cinematic experience.

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