tarajihenson

MOVIE REVIEW: Not Easily Broken

Morris

Chestnut has been a leading man for many years in such Black 90s classics as Boyz N The Hood, The Best Man and The Inkwell.

For the last decade, he’s played a role in several ensemble casts in movies

such as The Brothers, Two Can Play That

Game, Breakin’ all the Rules and last year’s break out holiday flick, A Perfect Holiday. This weekend Chestnut

steps up his game by not only starring as the lead character but also acting as

producer of the marriage-in-turmoil movie, Not

Easily Broken.

 

Chestnut

plays Dave Johnson, a one-time aspiring ballplayer who blew out his knee and

now runs a small home-improvement business. Johnson is a working husband and an

all-around good guy who’s married to an ambitious and overbearing wife Clarice,

played by Taraji Henson of Hustle and

Flow and Baby Boy fame.

 

Taken

from the popular novel of the same name, written by TD Jakes, Broken is the story of a couple who go

through hell and high water to keep their bond tight. But there are

distractions, namely Clarice’s near fatal auto accident that leaves her unable

to do the things she’s use to doing, and becoming completely dependent on her

insecure and terribly opinionated mother, Mary “Mama” Clark, played by Jenifer

Lewis. Another huge distraction is Dave’s platonic relationship with another

woman, single mom Julie Sawyer, whom he befriends after meeting at her son’s,

swim competition.

 

Julie

is hired as a rehabilitation therapist for Clarice following the accident and

develops a close bond with the Johnson family. She also happens to be White,

which adds another dynamic to the story’s conflict. Not Easily Broken is a simple film with three powerhouse actors; at

times, the simplicity becomes boring. Taraji Hensons’ character as the

bring-home-the-bacon wife and her mother, who distrusts all men after loving a

no-good husband, make for recognizable retread characters that we’ve seen time

and again in these movies.

 

Because

we know that Not Easily Broken is

written by the Bishop TD Jakes, we assume that there’s a happy ending, and true

to form, it has a perfect bow attached. Dave learns his lesson just before his

love scene with Julie and Clarice realizes that she’d rather have her man next

to her than her mom. Unfortunately, this film doesn’t’ do much for its audience

in the lesson-learning department.

 

We’ve

seen this movie and these characters before, so don’t expect anything new. Niecy

Nash, from the Style Network’s top rated show, “Clean House” and Comedy

Central’s hilarious “Reno 911” adds a bit of flavor to the cast, as a friend and

co-worker of Clarice and the esteemed Albert Hall, from Apocalypse Now plays a bishop who keeps reminding the struggling

couple of their marriage vows, the “cord with three strands”

religious metaphor that will make it all better. In a nutshell, this movie

isn’t horrible, just typical and unauthentic. If you want to go on a date movie then fine, but if you’re looking for more, then this movie is not easily impressive.

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