While we are waiting (perhaps hopelessly, perhaps in vain) for We Love You Anne to be released, it’s worth our time to look back at I Love You Anne and one of the key elements that made that movie work, and that lent to its overall popularity. And that element is Joe Zenny Jr.,. His face was more or less familiar to some, prior to seeing I Love You Anne, but after I Love You Anne, some Haitian movie fans found themselves getting a little more curious about his music. Most fans of I Love You Anne didn’t even know he was a musician, prior to seeing I Love You Anne!
With each viewing of the film, one notices something new in his performance. He has a great sense of timing, his gestures on cue. He really pinned down the character of Jude Dutreil to a “T”. Zenny playing Jude is one of the few times in many a person’s movie watching, that the female audience would not have minded if the bad guy made off with the girl, and they rode/galloped off into the white horse through the star-filled night.
Was it his experience in acting in music videos that helped him to put on such a great performance? One can contend that, this is not the case, as all singers turned actors would be capable of putting on great theatrical performances, and we all know that this isn’t the case.
The scene that many find rather riotous is the one in which he (Zenny as Jude Dutreil) is having that showdown with Beatrice Thales. He has a position to be filled at Judet Tours, his travel agency, and, well, in a country where jobs are far and few (or so we suppose), he wants her to do a little something extra, extra to get the position. She’s not that type of girl, thank you very much. But he’s that type of guy, oh mercy! A heated verbal argument ensues. The job offer is rescinded. Ms. Beatrice Thales gathers her dignity and storms off. The police inspector and friend of Jude Dutreil, Wesley Lisquet (Emmanuel Pierre-Antoine), walks in, asking why the girl left in such a huff. Jude affirms that the girl did not want to, er, put out, and had the audacity to want a job.
Zenny is never so charming as when he is having that office exchange with Ms. Thales. And how handsome he looks when he’s sitting in Bicha’s living room, trying to coax Anne into forgetting Don Kato, and getting into the Jude Dutreil lover chariot.
So, post-I Love You Anne, Zenny has starred in another franchise, Oasis and afterwards Hiatus, the two Francette Agnant films. Watching Oasis in its entirety and studying in the movie causes one to come to the conclusion that his performance in I Love You Anne was not a fluke. He isn’t an accidental actor.
What should his next move be? He’s certainly has done the franchise thing. Hey, two franchises: the I Love You Anne franchise, and the Oasis franchise. We would not recommend that he play a serial killer or anything, but perhaps he should try to do something different, so as to not be static. A period movie would be too expensive to make, but perhaps he should be entertaining other offers from Africa (as Jimmy Jean-Louis has done), or see about working with a Caribbean director of caliber, perhaps Christian Lara, Raoul Peck, or the ever talented Euzhan Palcy. Making another Haitian movie is not out of the question, but it must be something of quality, that will take his career forward, and judging from how selective he’s been regarding his roles post-I Love You Anne, it’s safe to say that he realizes the importance his selection of roles signifies for his career, and that each project he undertakes must take his acting career to the next level, or else it’s in vain.
Hiatus (Oasis II), Zenny’s last movie was released more than three years so Zenny definitely needs to keep the momentum going on his acting career. He certainly has the thespian chops. He should put them to more extensive use.