Maya & Her Lover offers a perspective on love and romance that is rarely told: the tale of a woman who daringly goes against everything she believes about love, in search and favor of herself. As Sylvester’s new feature opens, the eponymous lead character – played by Ashanti J’Aria – is a 39-year-old woman stifled by complicated memories of her overbearing father and on the verge of becoming a recluse, begins a sexual relationship with a much younger man who at the ripe age of 22 is unsuccessfully attempting to overcome his past. While he serves as the catalyst for Maya’s evolution, her love interest Kaseem (Shomari Love) is never quite the center of the story the way she is. As the title implies, this is squarely Maya’s story, something we don’t often see in Black romances. In that regard, Maya & Her Lover is a coming of age story of sorts, crafted for a generation in constant redefinition of the rules.