Saturday, January 30, 2010

Preacher's Kid

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Prodigal Daughter Learns Valuable Life Lessons in Moralizing Melodrama

As the only child of an overprotective, widowed father, Angie King (Letoya Luckett) almost couldn’t help but feel smothered. But when you factor in her dad’s being both a preacher and a pillar of the community in their tight-knit community in Augusta, Georgia, you’ve got a serious recipe for rebellion. Thus far, the 23 year-old virgin has devoted herself to the needs of her asthmatic father, between singing in the choir, ministering around the ‘hood and attending services several times a week.
However, everything changes the day Angie decides to run away not to join the circus but a Tyler Perry-esque travelling troupe passing through town, a supposedly spiritually-oriented outfit putting on a faith-based fable featuring Aunt Bebe, a trash-talking character played by a big dude (Carlos Davis) in a dress. For she has developed an instant crush on the show’s suave star, Devlin (Durrell Tank Babbs), a Romeo well versed in the art of seduction.
When informed of this sudden development, disapproving Bishop King (Gregalan Williams) disowns his disappointed daughter on the spot. Yet, she still leaves town with dreams of not only winning Devlin’s heart but of landing a role in the theater group’s next musical production.
Needless to say, a very rocky road lies ahead of Angie, starting with her initially being denied an audition by an impatient director who calls her deaf, dumb and stupid. And just when the promoter (Clifton Powell) is about to send her packing on the proverbial midnight train back to Georgia, Devlin intervenes on her behalf like a knight in shining armor.
Given a second chance, Angie impresses the producers sufficiently to be retained as an understudy to the female lead. While this might give the aspiring Gospel singer’s career a much-needed boost, it also makes her beholden to devilish Devlin, who soon proves to be a two-timing, physically-abusive creep.
So, unfolds Preacher's Kid, a cautionary tale written and directed by Stan Foster. It’s not very hard to anticipate the arc of this Christian-oriented message movie which tends to telegraph most of its punches. Nonetheless, it’s well-enough executed, especially for a flick on a modest budget, to forgive the low production values and a tendency towards melodrama.
The payoff arrives after Prodigal Daughter Angie has learned some tough lessons and returns to ask her father for forgiveness, allowing for a moving moment of mutual redemption.

Very Good (2.5 stars)
Rated PG-13 for mature themes, sexuality, violence and brief drug use.
Running time: 110 Minutes
Distributor: Warner Premiere/Gener8xion Entertainment

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