"The Fighting Temptations" - Movie Review
- Friday, September 19, 2003
Bad: The story is a little weak and drags a bit at first, but then it starts to pick up as the music is introduced, and by the end it redeems itself with a powerful musical message. A couple of crude words are used along with humorous dialogue (at the Aunt’s funeral and a couple of church services) that gently pokes fun at situational things in the black culture. In one diatribe between Darrin and Lucius (Epps), Lucius points out his “keen observations” on black women’s rear ends and how differently each one looks, depending on where they live (the director let Epps ad-lib the lines, and it worked so well he kept it in). While we're hearing that, we're seeing different women's back sides (clothed) in various shapes and sizes. I’m sure some of you are thinking, “Why did they need to put that dialogue in a movie about a Gospel choir?” The truth is, Hollywood doesn't have to, and we know that. However, to get a PG-13 rating (and thereby attract an adult audience rather than just kids), the producers and director knew there had to be a few “mature” elements in the story to get an MPAA PG-13 rating.
Bottom Line: Parents this is a fun, feel-good movie suitable for your pre-teens and teenagers, especially if they like Beyoncé or T-Bone. "Fight the temptation" to judge this movie by the mildly crude language and weak script at the beginning. Once the music kicks in, it will redeem anything negative about this movie and by the time the credits roll you’ll only remember the positive as you dance up the aisle with a big smile on your face. You know the Bible talks about the “spirit of praise” and “worshiping with song”. Even though not all of the songs are spiritual in this movie, by the time you get to the competition and the credits roll, there’s an anointing on that music that I’m convinced is what audiences will feel when leaving the theater. In fact, Cuba and Lynn both mentioned to me that on the day of filming the contest, there was a spirit of God all over the set. As the different artists would sit around and sing old gospel hymns and sing praise songs about God in between takes, the stronger they felt God. Wow.
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