The Fighting Temptations
Young Darrin grows up ‘on the road’, touring with his singer mother. He eventually ends up in New York as a semi-successful junior advertising executive, a position he got through lying and cheating. When his aunt dies, he returns to the hometown where his mother was forced to leave all those years ago.
His aunt’s dying wish was for Darrin to lead the local church choir to the Gospel Explosion competition in Atlanta. He agrees in order to get an inheritance to pay off his substantial debts. He meets up with Lily (Beyonce) who was four when he left home. She’s all grown up now with a child and a voice of her own. She agrees to help Darrin with the choir. But opposition to Darrin and Lily from church stalwarts threaten to upset their plans. Will the choir get to perform, and will Darrin and Lily be there with them?
I was quite surprised at how much I liked this film (I don’t like Beyonce’s music, and am not into modern gospel, which is very influenced by R and B). But Beyonce was actually very good. And Cuba Gooding Jr was an excellent leading man. He has an unusual personality – he’s supposed to be the bad boy, but you can’t fail to like him with his cheeky smile and unfailing good humour.
There were fantastic supporting roles from far too many people to mention, as well as some awesome singing. This was a very feel good, romance where (for good or bad I’m not sure) issues of racial discrimination and inter-racial relations were absent. I think this film can still hold its own ten years down the track. Nothing amazing or clever, but enjoyable nonetheless.