Love Jones’ Unexpected Influence on Prince’s Songwriting

Photo: Getty Images, New Line Cinema

In his 2004 song “On the Couch,” Prince gave a shout-out to the indie 1990s romantic comedy Love Jones. “Don’t make me sleep on the couch … Love Jones is on the TV again, baby,” he sang. According to an oral history of the Sundance-winning film, Prince was such a fan of the film that Love Jones was the inspiration behind that song and another track that the production couldn’t afford. “I have a regret about it that I could not get this Prince song that I wanted,” writer-director Ted Witcher told the Los Angeles Times. “He had written this song that I had cut a scene in the movie to. We tried to get the clearance and we couldn’t. We wound up having to put another major artist’s song in its place.” Long after the movie’s release, Prince told Witcher about the movie’s impact on the Musicology track: “Years later, I ran into Prince and he was a fan of the movie. He said he watched it a million times and he had written a song for his record called “On the Couch,” which was inspired by a scene in Love Jones,” Witcher recalled. Even though the Nia Long–Larenz Tate romance has one of the greatest R&B soundtracks of all time, think about the Prince song that could have been.

Prince Wrote a Song Inspired by Love Jones