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(Review originally written at 27 April 2006)

This movie is a very sloppy one. The story is filled with some unlikely events and characters and the directing and especially editing is seriously flawed mostly. Still thanks to its music, this movie still has some entertainment value and also somewhat still works as a 'feel good movie'.

Perhaps the biggest problem with the movie is that the comedy and drama elements of the movie are not balanced out very well. At times the movie can't seem to decide whether it wants to be a comedy or a drama. A result of this is that most of the comedy feels out of place and seriously mistimed. The movie becomes never funny to watch because of this but the warm feel good atmosphere of the movie still somewhat compensates for this.

Cuba Gooding Jr. seriously needs to start looking for another agent. I mean this is an Oscar winning actor but yet he appears in movies like "Chill Factor", "Pearl Harbor" and "Boat Trip"? I mean, what's up with that? He deserves to play better roles in better movies. This movie is also one of those movies in which he feels out of place. I know he can play comical roles well but in this movie he just never gets enough opportunity to show this. As a matter of fact, none of the characters in the movie work out or feel deep enough. The movie seems to concentrate more (and too much) on its music than on its characters and story in general. I seriously don't think that Beyoncé Knowles is a bad actress but just like Cuba, her role isn't significant- and present enough in the movie. Rue McClanahan also somehow got mixed up in this mess.

At times it just totally feels like entire sequences in the movie are missing. Lots of moments in the movie feel rushed and are not satisfying enough. The movie is a real sloppy job. You can't just blame the script for this but also the filmmakers involved. Yes, it's a real mess of a movie at times, that too often takes the easy simple road.

But yet the movie still works good thanks to its music. It makes the movie very pleasant to watch and therefor the movie still works good as a simple feel good movie. But that obviously doesn't mean that the movie itself is also a good one. The movie is too flawed in its story and way of film-making to consider this movie a good or totally recommendable one.

There still is enough to enjoy in this movie but the sloppy way of film-making and storytelling don't make this movie really a recommendable one. Perhaps this movie is a typical case of 'watch at your own risk'...chances are you might end up loving- or totally hating it.

5/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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