Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe in TV One's "Downsized"

Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe in TV One’s “Downsized”

*TV One tackles marriage, family and divorce in the new film “Downsized,” premiering this weekend with real life husband and wife duo Boris Kodjoe and Nicole Ari Parker as leads.

Written by the 2016 TV One American Black Film Festival Screenplay Competition finalist Michelle McKissic, the story follows Kodjoe and Parker as Michael and Ebony, high school sweethearts who were forced into marriage by their parents after a teen pregnancy. Fast forward 25 years and four children later, and Michael and Ebony typify the modern family – successful careers, beautiful home and all the trappings of success. To the world, they appear to have it all. Yet, the rewards that success has brought them have instead driven the family further apart from each other.

Michael and Ebony have reached a crossroads in their marriage and are ready to carry out their plan to go their separate ways following their eldest daughter’s graduation from law school. However, Michael has a change of heart. Hoping to reignite the spark that first brought them together, he whisks the family away for a month-long vacation, returning to their first home in the countryside to unplug and reconnect with one another. The trip becomes a journey of self-discovery for Michael and Ebony, as well as their children. Will the couple that appears to have it all on the surface discover that everything they really want, they already have?

Photo L to R: TV One’s Downsized stars Boris Kodjoe, Racquel Bianca John, Nicole Ari Parker, Alix Lapri and Isaiah John. Not pictured: Tia Hendricks.

Photo L to R: TV One’s Downsized stars Boris Kodjoe, Racquel Bianca John, Nicole Ari Parker, Alix Lapri and Isaiah John. Not pictured: Tia Hendricks.

“One of the things I discovered was how much we are affected by family and how much family means to us. I’ve always known that, but it’s a nice experience to walk through that again on camera. We have made family our number one priority, and it’s kind of nice to be able to play that in a film as well,” says Kodjoe.

Parker agrees there’s much to be learned from the couple’s push and pull while debating the future of their relationship.

“Nowadays, we’re all programmed to walk away and look out for self when things get tough, but there is glory when you work as a team to get through the rough patch…I really appreciated that in the story. Joy does come in the morning when you push through,” says Parker. “Marriage isn’t for everybody. It’s not easy, and yet it’s so rewarding if you fight for it.”

“Downsized” premieres Saturday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. on TV One.

Watch the trailer below: