Friday, April 3, 2009

Not Easily Broken DVD

DVD Review by Kam Williams

Headline: DVD Features Faith-Based Drama from Bishop T.D. Jakes

No matter how hard he tries, Dave (Morris Chestnut) can’t satisfy his wife, Clarice (Taraji Henson). She’s one of those sassy sisters who has never learned to cut a brother any slack. The trouble is that she was raised by a single-mom (Jenifer Lewis) who showed her father no respect. So Clarice is simply treating her husband in the same man-hating fashion that she observed as a child.
Compounding the problem is the fact that she’s the breadwinner, being a successful realtor while he has been struggling as a general contractor since an injury ended his pursuit of a dream of becoming a major league baseball player.
It doesn’t help matters any that Dave is impatient to start a family after ten years of marriage, while materialistic Clarice is focused on living in the lap of luxury. The upshot is that Clarice criticizes her hubby constantly, especially about what she sees as his lack of ambition.
Dave escapes the nagging by hanging out with his pals, ladies man Brock (Eddie Cibrian) and equally-henpecked Tree (Kevin Hart), with whom he coaches a little league team. Everything changes the day Clarice is seriously injured in a car accident which occurs right while she is in the midst of haranguing him.
Dave’s insufferable mother-in-law moves in with them, which means he now has to hear double the complaints. So, it’s no surprise that his head might be turned by Julie (Maeve Quinlan), the friendly physical therapist making regular visits to the house to assist his wife in rehabilitating her leg.
“Can this marriage be saved?” is the burning question at the heart of Not Easily Broken, a dysfunctional family drama directed by Bill Duke. The movie is based on the novel of the same name by televangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes who, by the way, makes a cameo appearance, here, along with his wife, Serita.
The picture proves to be every bit as compelling as Jakes’ previous screen adaptation, Woman Thous Art Loosed, another morality play revolving around the battle-of-the-sexes. This flick, however, is a little lighter in tone, given that the marital tension is intermittently offset by comic relief coming mostly courtesy of trash-talking Tree and Clarice’s colorful colleague Michelle Niecy Nash.
But the humorous asides in no way interfere with the ability of the modern parable to drive home a sobering message about the sanctity of marriage. Faith-based entertainment at its best that you don’t have to be Born Again to appreciate.

Excellent (4 stars)
Rated PG-13 for mature themes and sexual references.
Running time: 100 minutes
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
DVD Extras: Deleted scenes and “The Making of” featurette.

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