Califia, the Queen and spirit of California, gives the audience a quick and somewhat romanticized look at history of California, as well as trials and tribulations, but also hopes and dreams of its various ethnicities and cultures.
This family has issues! When mean and surly Bud Slocumb keels over at breakfast, his family gathers for the wake and funeral: long-suffering widow Raynelle, unemployed son Junior who's cheating on his wife Charisse, son Ray Bud who holds a job and has a loving wife, Lucille, but struggles with alcoholism and with their difficulty having children. There's younger daughter Delightful, who constantly eats; religious Aunt Marguerite and her wayward son Royce; and, there's Juanita, their wealthy cousin's wife. They all descend on the town of Lula, struggle to say something nice about Bud, and face the challenge of sorting out their relationships with the living. Written by
The entire soundtrack for the movie was written and produced by gospel superstar Kirk Franklin. See more »
The movie takes place in the southern town of Lula, but Ray Bud's "new" used pickup truck has California license plates. See more »
Ray Bud Slocumb:
Mama, Antoine told me what you wanted on Daddy's headstone. I'm not having it. It's going to say, "Rest in Peace", That's 11 letters, so Antoine's gonna give us a $2 credit.
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Well, from the little press I saw regarding this movie when it first came out, I'll admit I wasn't running to the theater. (I wasn't even running to the video store.) However, when it came on HBO recently, my sister told me to sit down and watch it, to compare it to our family.
This movie was almost scary in how closely it mimicked our gatherings (especially funerals, but all gatherings in general). I really felt like the writers knew us, as they hit several depictions right on the head.
The Slocums are more the typical Black family than most movies will show nowadays--sure there are a few people who lose their way now and again, but family brings them back around. (What family isn't slightly dysfunctional anyway? It just makes family gatherings more amusing. Heck--my family even has the three holy-terror-boys who run around every gathering destroying everything.)
I'm not going to say that the acting was outstanding, or the script completely original because it wasn't. THE SCRIPT WAS REALISTIC, THOUGH. It wasn't original because anyone could have sat through a funeral in their family and copied things word for word. I do recommend this movie. The last minute is a little cheesy, but hey, the rest of the movie works so well that you accept it. There weren't any unnecessary curses, gratuitous violence or sex. It was just a movie about family. What is more real than that?
This is the ultimate feel-good movie because you feel like it is real. Some movies are just too contrived, but I had to smile to myself at the end of this movie. It shows how the strength of your family helps you cope and heal together.
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