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Not Easily Broken

2/10

Stars: Morris Chestnut, Taraji P. Henson, Maeve Quinlan, Kevin Hart, Eddie Cibrian, Jenifer Lewis, Albert Hall, Henry Brown

Director: Bill Duke

Ironically, had this sudsy saga of the traumas of family breakdown and (naturally) climactic reconciliation been made in the 1950s by, say, schmaltzy and embarrassingly overrated cult director Douglas Sirk, cineastes would have been writhing in ecstasy despite the thinness and seen-it-all before level of the movie.

Unfortunately, the director here is Bill Duke and, while his cameras never actually crash into the sets or (moreís the pity) into his actors, and the level of sheer professionalism is high, the overall result is well-meaning but well worth missing until it turns up on DVD, when the fast-forward button will prove to be a real blessing.

We start off with the sugary wedding of Chestnut and Henson and then segue into the future where Chestnutís career in baseball is long over, and acidity and Hensonís desire for female empowerment are souring their marriage. Until, that is, an automobile accident further ruptures their already crumbling relationshipÖ

The key performances are perfectly adequate in a made-for-TV movie way, Brian Birdís cliche-heavy screenplay never flies into areas that havenít already become tediously over-familiar and for me the most enjoyable part of the film was the arrival of the long-overdue end credits.

Moral: If it ain't fixed, leave it broken and ignore it.

Alan Frank

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Sony. Colour.
99 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 27 Apr 2009