Starring: Beyonce Knowles, Cuba Gooding Jr., Steve Harvey
and tons of other huge musical talents that'll blow your mind
Directed by: Jonathan Lynn
God - literally - what was Cuba Gooding Jr. thinking? Ya
know I have been pretty nice with the talented yumsicle in the
past - I even thought his Love Boat homage
was quirky and fun. This, however, was a colossal waste of an
evening. Sure, the music is incredible but the producers at MTV
Films - yes, I said MTV Films which is a premonitory oxymoron
if ever - decided no one would notice this is nothing more then
a star-studded seven-hour, err, and two-hour music video they
threw together. They were wrong.
story (read: "Dick and Jane Wash the Doggy" is a Pulitzer
Prize winning Novel in comparison) goes
Darrin Hill (Cuba
- seek career guidance - Gooding Jr.) is a slick egotistical lying
manpig hot as lava in the advertising world of New York City.
That is until they discover he's a fraud. And as brilliant as
he may be at clouding the minds of product purchasers, he's fired.
aunt - whom he has not spoken to for over twenty years - dies
and requests he come home to the poor south to hear her will.
He desperately needs whatever dough she done left so he's aboard
a train (?) in an hour
gets there and discovers a little time capsule of kinfolks and
friends being all southern. He's told Aunt Sally has left him
stock that's worth 150,000 bucks which is his if he can get the
choir to the Gospel Explosion championship thingy. Oh, and guess
who's ho-ing up the little town? That's right his childhood sweetheart,
Lilly, who's now a soulful saloon singer the church's snooty matriarch
Paulina (Latanya Richardson) hails as Satan's own concubine. Naturally
Lilly (Beyonce Knowles) is far from a ho and dances around sexual
attraction to Darrin for a while. For two (long) hour as a matter
of fact! All the while we are bombarded with every other going-home-to-your-humble-roots
cliché the writer Elizabeth Hunter could muster up too.
only the exceptional musical numbers, these delightfully askew
cameos by Steve Harvey as a bottle-tipping radio personality and
Mike Epps' oblivious "Town-Player" role that even keep
little "choir" Cuba's leading is spectacular! And why
not? It's really The O'Jays, Faith Evans, Angie Stone, Melba Moore,
Montell Jordan, Zane, mansteak in disguise T-Bone, Beyonce, and
Rue McClanahan (as the token dirty old white lady) all singin'
their guts out. And you get these stunning gospel pieces from
the Reverend Shirley Caesar and the Blind Boys of Alabama to boot!
Basically? It's a looonnnggg gospel music video disguised as a
till this is on DVD then buy it and blast it in the background
for the unbelievable music- unless they are smart enough to have
every song on the soundtrack! Shame on you Cuba.
Skip the film and find a nice Gospel brunch in your neck o' da